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Palestinians see progress in EU stance on UN bid
Published Sunday 28/08/2011 (updated) 30/08/2011 11:42
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A Palestinian man displays a map showing flags of countries that have
recognized the Palestinian state. [AFP/File Abbas Momani]
RAMALLAH (AFP) -- The Palestinian leadership sees "progress" in the European Union's position on its plan to seek UN membership next month, a senior PLO official told AFP on Sunday.

"There is progress in the European stance and a willingness to coordinate with the Palestinian leadership over the type of resolution we are looking for," said PLO secretary general Yasser Abed Rabbo a day after president Mahmoud Abbas met in Ramallah with EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton.

Central to the talks in the West Bank town was the Palestinian plan to seek full membership in the United Nations when its General Assembly meets next month in New York despite Israeli and US opposition.

"We will inform them of every move and we won't surprise them with anything," Abed Rabbo said.

"We have seen progress in the European position which is demonstrated through the EU's willingness to coordinate over the PLO's steps in going to the UN," he said.

Ashton arrived in the region on Saturday for a three-day visit aimed at pushing Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct negotiations, which have been on hold since last September in an intractable dispute over Israeli settlement building.

Abbas said on Sunday that success in his UN bid would change the status of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict under international law.

"International recognition of our state based on the 1967 borders will make it a state under occupation. It will change the legal formula of our situation," Abbas said in a joint interview with Jordan's Al-Dustur daily and Qatar's Al-Watan newspaper, without elaborating.

During talks with Abbas on Saturday evening, Ashton said the EU position would depend on the wording of the Palestinian proposal to be presented to UN chief Ban Ki-moon on September 20, Palestinian official Saeb Erekat told AFP.

Abbas told her that European support for the bid was crucial in order to safeguard the peace process, Erekat said.

"The president asked the EU to do everything to help us because the Palestinian bid is a way to preserve the peace process and the two-state solution and is based on international law and UN resolutions," he said.

"We are facing an Israeli government which refuses to acknowledge the two-state solution based on the 1967 borders, and refuses to stop settlement activities so the international community must help and support us in this bid," Erekat said.

Europe is currently divided over the Palestinian bid for UN membership, with Germany and Italy publicly opposed to the move, while Spain has said it will vote in favor; Britain and France are keeping their cards close to their chests.

Shortly before meeting Ashton, Abbas said that seeking UN membership was a direct result of the world's failure to help the Palestinians secure their legal rights.

"We are going to the UN to ask for full membership for a Palestinian state. We wouldn't be going if the international community had given us a solution which complied with international law -- one based on the 1967 borders and a halt to settlement activity," he said in a speech to religious leaders in Ramallah.

"But without that, we will go to the UN," he said, while stressing that the bid would not prevent a "return to the negotiating table."

"Regardless of the outcome at the UN, there are issues that cannot be solved without negotiating," he said.

"Our decision does not seek to isolate Israel, nor to enter into a confrontation with the United States. Our objective is to realize our dream of gaining international recognition for our Palestinian state at the UN with full sovereignty on the lands occupied in 1967."

On Friday, Erekat urged both Brussels and Washington to support the Palestinian bid for UN membership.

"Maintaining the peace process and the principle of two states on the borders of June 1967 requires that the EU and the United States support the application for full membership of Palestine in the UN," he said.

Ashton was to meet later on Sunday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as with other top Israeli officials, and would have breakfast with Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman early on Monday before heading to Jordan.

Abed Rabbo said Ashton was expected to meet ministers from the Arab League monitoring committee in early September "to coordinate the Arab and European positions."
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1 ) Mel / USA
28/08/2011 21:28
LOL! "Britain and France are keeping their cards close to their chests."
That means Lts 'Macaroon' Cameron and 'Tricky Nicky' haven't received their orders from 'General' D.C. yet,even Frog & Brit people vote 'Yes' for Palestine(which they do).
Jeez! Careful what you eat for breakfast Katy, it might come at a huge human price? Freedom trumps oppression every time,especially under International Laws & Statutes. "PalAir Flight 242 arriving shortly.Fasten belts & Welcome to Free Palestine!"

2 ) Colin Wright / USA
28/08/2011 21:49
Everybody's proving quite agreeable -- except the US, but we all know Obama's too scared to do anything. Then there's Israel itself, of course -- but she's what we're agreeing about. Tut tut. She shoulda quit while she was ahead. Just think of the deal she could have cut back in the Bush years.

3 ) southparkbear / usa
28/08/2011 22:09
very good, I am looking forward to the day after

4 ) Colin Wright / USA
28/08/2011 22:14
To southparkbear #3 'I am looking forward to the day after.' You'll get your wish. To quote someone talking about something similar, 'this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. It is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.'

5 ) Maureen / Australia
28/08/2011 22:25
3) southparkbear, why? Are you hosting a teddy bear's picnic for the Zionist illegal squatters when they get their marching orders?

6 ) Mel / USA
28/08/2011 22:53
#3;1 Day after? That's not the point. After 64 long years of Zionist cruelty & oppression,it will be the symbol of the world having the moral,ethical courage to stand up for the Palestinian people & will be awesome in happy magnitude felt by anyone who cares about humanity & real mutual peace. It's a 1st positive step out of a real mess. The US & Israel do not control the planet & US needs the Arab/Muslim world. A big step on the road to mutual respect,& Rule of(moral) International Law.Go Pal!

7 ) @ Maureen (5) / Tobias
28/08/2011 23:21

I am NOT sure about Southparkbear (3), but I am hosting
a REALITY picnic, for all those, like yourself, who believe
in such UN fantasies like Palestine will ever be more than
JUST A NUMBER (194), & JUST A WORD ("Palestine") !!!

After the REALITY Picnic, You will get their marching orders:
- "Stop Waiting & Forget Your Fantasies",
- "Negotiate & Compromise",
- "Make The Best Deal You Can Get NOW", AND
( NOT 1967 borders, E. Jerusalem, & refugee return )
- "End The Conflict" !!!!


8 ) Julie / USA
29/08/2011 00:13
#3 southpukebear - me too!!!! the celebration of Pal's FREEDOM FROM OPPRESSIVE CRIMINALS will be like no other in the history of this planet!!! :D

9 ) George / USA
29/08/2011 02:44
Colin 2 4 . I would like to express my admiration and pride for I always enjoy you excellent comments. I agree with every word you say in this forum.

10 ) ian / australia
29/08/2011 02:47
Incredibly encouraging. Everyone civil and supportive. Europe willing to coordinate over "wording", like more experienced, democratic big brother, quite touching. Abbas articulate and forceful. Waning US influence palpable. And yes Catherine, steer clear of the borscht at breakfast!

11 ) Proud Palestinian / Palestine
29/08/2011 07:37
2 states? If that option was 50 years ago, It would have been more satisfying, but now, The Arabs have awaken from their corrupted regimes and emperors, So Its? time to take Palestine to the real Freedom, there is no country for Israel nor Zionists!

12 ) Abu Ammar / Palestine
29/08/2011 07:40
Either an olive branch or a fighter's gun; choice for them !!!!!

13 ) Rana / Ramallah
29/08/2011 07:42
Free Palestine, No more Occupation No more Oppression, Yes to Liberty ...Yes to Human Rights. Palestinians will be Free... Free ...Free.

14 ) Salma / Palestine
29/08/2011 07:44
The fruits of decades of continuous hard work by the Palestinians to build their future state institutions and capacities, and their endeavors to establish strong ties with the world countries have become ripe enough in 2011 to be picked. Yes, Palestinians deserve to enjoy their state in 2011.

15 ) Hani / Ramallah
29/08/2011 07:52
The fact that Lebanon is the country that will head the Security Council on September is very likely to act in favor of supporting the statehood bid. However, not enough to assure the success of the bid. The Palestinian statehood cause needs support on all levels starting at the individual level and ending at the international relations level.

16 ) deb / UK
29/08/2011 12:13
@7 It's Eretz Israel that is pure fanasy not the UN vote. As we read in the "Palestine Papers" the Zionists were given the deal of the century and tuned it down. As Zionists are driven more by ideology than common sense, the Palestians have no alternative than to go to the UN.

17 ) @ Salma & Deb (14 & 16) / Tobias
29/08/2011 19:54
"The fruits of decades of continuous hard work (invasions & terror),
that Palestinians deserve to enjoy in 2011 (delusions & fantasy)",
will be NO better than 2010 (Occupation & likely much worse ) !!!

Is it just fun for you to write, "It's Eretz Israel that is pure fanasy",
or do YOU HAVE NO GRASP OF REALITY?
If such fantasy were true, then:
- the NAKBA and NAKSA must also be "pure fanasy",
- the Occupation must also be "pure fanasy",
- the Oslo Accords must also be "pure fanasy" !!

18 ) Nour / 1 gaza
29/08/2011 21:17
ah I am waiting to see 4 states, gaza, some of west bank, jordan and lubnan

19 ) Jad / Ramallah
29/08/2011 22:27
The USA lost its credibility as a 'peace broker' when it gave Israel money and weapons with no conditions on their use--resulting in thousands of Palestinian civilian casualties and hundreds of illegal settlements. And the USA continues using its UN veto power to further Israel's agenda.

20 ) Rose / Beit Jala
29/08/2011 22:41
The whole World recognizes Palestine, even people from far away. But yet Israel can't even recognize Palestine when it's right next to them.

21 ) @ Nour (18) / Tobias
30/08/2011 00:27

YOU, your children, your grand children, your great grand children, and
your great .... great grand children WILL BE "WAITING to see 4 states,
gaza, some of west bank, jordan and lubnan" FOREVER !!!

Gaza, some of the West Bank will probably never become states,
with fantasies like yours so common, and Jordan may cease to exist,
when it's king follows the other Arab tyrants into exile, but
- ISRAEL IS ALREADY REAL, &
- ISRAEL WILL REMAIN FOREVER !!!


22 ) @ Nour (18) / Tibi
30/08/2011 00:48

My grandparents told the same nonsense to me, and
your grandparents probably told the same nonsense to you.
- Mine are now gone, and they never saw what your waiting for !!

My parents told the same nonsense to me, when I was little, but
I got eyes, that see the world as it is, rather than wishful thinking !!

I WON'T TELL LIES TO MYSELF, AND MY CHILDREN,
AND YOU SHOULDN'T EITHER !!

THE ONLY WAY TO A STATE IS NEGOTIATIONS WITH ISRAEL,
AND ENDING THE CONFLICT, ON ISRAELI TERMS !!!
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