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Abbas says to join UN agencies
Published Tuesday 01/04/2014 (updated) 03/04/2014 10:58
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RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday said the Palestinians would seek membership in international organizations after Israel failed to release a batch of Palestinian prisoners on schedule.

In a televised speech, Abbas said he had started the process to sign agreements with 15 United Nations agencies and organizations and would pursue joining more.

"The Palestinian leadership has unanimously approved a decision to seek membership of 15 UN agencies and international treaties, beginning with the Fourth Geneva Convention," Abbas said after signing the demand.

“I proposed this to the leadership, and we said if they were not released we will go and join 63 international organizations. I suggested this to the leadership and they unanimously agreed.”

He added: “We are not against the US, and we do not want to use this right to face anyone ... We will continue with the negotiations and take advantage of every remaining moment until the deadline.”

US peace efforts were already teetering on the brink of collapse after Israel refused to free the fourth and final group of 26 veteran Palestinian prisoners which would have completed an agreement that brought the sides back to the negotiating table in July 2013.

Furious Palestinian officials had warned that unless Israel changed its stance on the prisoner releases, it could signal the end of the negotiations, which are in any case due to draw to a close on April 29.

US efforts are currently focused on getting the parties to agree an extension to the end of the year.

Secretary of State John Kerry met Tuesday for two hours with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, before entering talks with Palestinian negotiators at his Jerusalem hotel.

He later held a second two-hour meeting with Netanyahu, with sources close to the talks saying they discussed a deal to free Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard as a way of breaking the log-jam in the negotiations.

Shortly after his breakfast meeting with Netanyahu, Kerry was back on a plane heading to Europe for a NATO meeting in Brussels.

But a senior Palestinian source told AFP he would return within 24 hours for talks with President Mahmoud Abbas.

"Kerry will fly to Europe today for previous engagements and will come back to meet the president tomorrow at noon (0900 GMT)," the Palestinian source told AFP.

Kerry had been due to meet Abbas late on Monday but the meeting was cancelled.

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1 ) seek membership of 15 UN agenc / President Mahmoud Abbas
01/04/2014 21:35
Palestinian leadership

2 ) marijke / holland
01/04/2014 21:52
A major step towards a just future? I really pray it may be.

3 ) LB / USA
01/04/2014 22:07
Should have been done years ago.

4 ) Brian Cohen / Israel
01/04/2014 22:41
Yo baby! Join the ICC! That way we can send Palestinian leaders to trail for their war crimes and crimes against humanity. Abbas was part of the PLO command that ordered civilian airplanes blown out of the sky. It's time for him to stand trial and if found guilty (he will be, of course, he was one of the commanders) he will spend the rest of his life behind bars. Haniyeh and Maashal are no brainers - guilty as charged. Ditto for PIJ. Go for it, Pals!

5 ) Sander / The Netherlands
01/04/2014 22:41
Good. that's a wise decision. Go for it !

6 ) If & Then / Two Realities
01/04/2014 23:30
-1- If the Gaza Strip is part of "a State of Palestine", Then signing the Fourth Geneva Convention may lead to Palestinian leaders being prosecuted for war crimes, for every rocket fired at Israel's civilian populations, and -2- If "a State of Palestine" plans to get anything useful, through "membership of 15 UN agencies", Then Reality Will Be A Very "Bitter Pill" indeed.

7 ) d'Arc / USA
02/04/2014 01:03
Completely appropriate course. Should include the UNHRC on the list.

8 ) KAGH / US
02/04/2014 01:49
GOOD 'bout da*ned time :)

9 ) JoeUSA / USA
02/04/2014 04:34
The Palestinians need to see the writing on the wall. They need to push for what is in their interest , in all directions and at any level. The USA is entrenched and intertwined with Israeli interests and the Palestinians need to see that with conviction and open eyes. Do not let the USA act separately with the negotiations. It always acts as the advocate general of Israeli interests. The USA chose not to be the friend of the Palestinians.

10 ) Tibi / Tubas
02/04/2014 05:03
Palestine already has Problems Too Big for it to handle, and Joining UN agencies will only make Palestine's problems Bigger, with an infinite numbers of retaliations (jobs, movement, import, export, electricity/water prices, etc.) from Israel a certainty !!

11 ) What if.....ISRAEL / decides to ACT
02/04/2014 07:28
the same way and DECLARE HER BORDERS and CUT OFF "Palestine?" How long will that "entity" survive? It will become another GAZA!

12 ) ian / australia
02/04/2014 07:28
Plan B. At last.

13 ) Palestinian / Palestine
02/04/2014 07:57
Good step Abu Mazen :)

14 ) d'Arc / USA
02/04/2014 09:00
Netanyahu reneged. This is entirely a fair course.

15 ) Rami / Palestine
02/04/2014 12:02
#4 I think its best for you to just keep quiet and sulk in the corner knowing that Abbas just effectively killed the chances of your hero, Pollard, coming to Israel on a parade float. Your talk of war crimes is amusing given that your country has perpetrated them every single day since day one of this occupation. There's a stack of documents too great to fit through the doors in Hague that Israel wouldn't want anyone to rifle through (no pun intended).

16 ) Outlier / USA
02/04/2014 19:48
Bad faith moves on both sides have not helps the peace efforts. Expect a long wait before negotiations restart and expect new people at the table when they do. Time has not been the Palestinians' friend and likely will not be again.

17 ) @ Abbas / USA
02/04/2014 20:42
YOU HAD TWO CHOICES:
-1- To do Nothing & Cause No Harm, and
-2- To do Something Harmful to Palestine, AND
You CHOSE the worst:
* TO SHOOT PALESTINE IN THE FOOT 15 TIMES, for surely:
- the 15 UN bodies can do nothing positive for Palestine ever,
while in response
- Israeli punitive actions will greatly harm Palestinians,
for many decades to come !!

18 ) @ d-Arc-14 / Reality
02/04/2014 23:45
Netanyahu And Abbas BOTH "RENEGED", where * ABBAS GOT 80 REAL PRISONERS RELEASED, BUT * GAVE ESSENTIAL NOTHING IN RETURN (real & promised talks). * AND Now, whether its "a fair course" or Not, * PALESTINE WILL PAY A VERY HIGH PRICE, and may soon financially collapse on the ground, after Israel's retaliation, even if, for a short while, it seems more real in the UN.
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