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Erekat: UN bid to continue despite warning from US
Published Thursday 07/07/2011 (updated) 10/07/2011 00:52
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RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- PLO official Saeb Erekat said Wednesday that Palestinians would continue with a UN bid for recognition of an independent Palestinian state, after meeting US officials in Washington DC.

The United States warned the Palestinians against seeking UN recognition of a future state not first defined in talks with Israel.

In a press conference, Erekat stressed that the resolution, planned for September, does not contradict renewing currently stalled peace negotiations with Israel.

"We don't see a contradiction between the efforts being exerted to revive the peace process and our bid to go to the UN," he said.

Erekat said the coming meeting of the Middle East Quartet -- the diplomatic body pursuing peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians -- would not "invent the wheel."

The decision to push ahead at the UN will be taken at the Arab League follow up committee meeting in Cairo on 16 July, Erekat said, noting that according to UN procedures Palestinians should submit the application by the end July for the September vote.

PLO officials met with US President Barack Obama's acting Middle East envoy David Hale and senior US diplomat Dennis Ross in the US capital on Wednesday.

State department spokesperson department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said the officials renewed US objections to the Palestinian plan during the meeting.

"Our goal is to get these parties back to the table, and our position on the idea of a UN action in September remains that it's not a good idea, that it's not helpful," she told reporters.

Amid the diplomatic tussling, the US House of Representatives turned towards voting by week's end on a symbolic resolution warning the Palestinians they risk US aid cuts if they pursue their plans at the United Nations.

The House was expected to overwhelmingly back the measure authored by Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer just one week after the Senate passed a similar resolution.

The Palestinians "must understand that the solution to this conflict will only come through direct negotiations with the Israelis and not by circumventing the peace process through international parliamentary gimmickry," said Cantor.

The resolution also urges Obama to consider suspending aid to the Palestinian Authority pending a view of a unity deal between president Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and the radical Islamist movement Hamas.

"Any Palestinian unity government must publicly and formally forswear terrorism, accept Israel's right to exist, and reaffirm previous agreements made with Israel," it says.

Peace talks ground to a halt in September 2010 when Israel failed to renew a partial freeze on settlement construction in the occupied West Bank.

Israel has occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem since 1967.

AFP contributed to this report
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1 ) George / USA
07/07/2011 18:41
After the partition plan (UN resolution 181) in 1947, Israel in 1948 declared its independence unilaterally over 78% of historic Palestine. It didn't take Harry Truman more than 8 minutes to recognize the new violently stolen state. Now after 63 years of dispossession and hardship under occupation, the US puts obstacles in the way of Palestinian freedom and right of self determination on only 22% of their ancestral homeland knowing that the unfair resolution 181 gave them 46% of their homeland.

2 ) Star / UK
07/07/2011 20:18
There is more than an ocean which separates America from those with a more enlightened approach to the Middle East; its poverty of knowledge and misunderstanding about the situation and history of Palestine as viewed through countless agreements and recognitions of Israel, its painting of the UN as a 'troublesome' forum for the 'have nots' -- all fully summed up by the remarks and stance of Cantor and Hoyer (AIPAC owned?) No wonder Obama doesn't stand a chance in advocating change.

3 ) Checkpoint Charlie / Promised Land
08/07/2011 08:36
1): George, I appreciate and support your posts, but take care to get all the clear facts right! "Israel in 1948 declared its independence unilaterally over 78% of historic Palestine." No, not over 78%, that's where the Green Line of 1949 is. It was over the 54% not allocated to the Arabs. Israel's Declaration affirmed that Resolution 181 partition border, and therefore this remains the legal border of the Israel that was accepted as a UN member. Palestine remains legally entitled to 46%.

4 ) silver / phil.
08/07/2011 12:33
israel unilalaterally declared its independence in 1948 so palestine has olso the right to unilateraly proceed to UN for recognition. so what is wrong now? dont be bias be partial

5 ) EE / UK
08/07/2011 21:10
4 - palestinians do have a right, they do not have a state and never will.

6 ) @ Silver / USA
08/07/2011 21:47

Israel unilalaterally declared its independence in 1948,
after getting UN support (Res. 181, which Arabs rejected) !!

And, South Sudan is about to become independant tomorrow,
again with UN support, but also with a peace agreement,
that ends the conflict with North Sudan !!

This IS THE ONLY WAY (a negotiated settlement)
that a "PALESTINE declared independence",
CAN BE MORE THAN JUST A WORD !!!


7 ) Colin Wright / USA
09/07/2011 13:16
It's amusing to survey the things Israel supporters wind up opposing. They wind up opposing: unity, national independence, Arab democracy, respect for law, human rights, and the Geneva Convention, among other things. There's a simple explanation, of course. Their cause is evil, and so it can only be supported with evil. Israel requires lies, oppression, and brute force to survive. Absent these things, it hasn't a chance.

8 ) Joe Fattal / USA
10/07/2011 08:02
If the Palestinians don't get their State, Israel also will not get theirs. Both of them sooner or later have to put a definite borders between each others, unless they all going to live together happily ever after, which I doubt.

9 ) PX Fragonard / Canada
07/08/2011 18:17
The Arab leadership rejected the 1947 partition plan known as 181. How can it then be on the table now Geo
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