VIDEO: Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki said Thursday that the Palestinian Authority will submit its bid for full UN membership with the UN Security Council on Friday, September 23.
Malki's statement all but ended the speculation over whether the Palestinians would ultimately pursue an upgrade to their observer status in lieu of full UN membership.
More on the PA's UN campaign:
- PLO official: Palestine should be free of Jews
- FM: Unilateral Palestinian moves will have dire results
- Hamas official: UN bid 'perilous' for resistance movement
Following the announcement, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he will travel to New York City and address the UN General Assembly. His address has been set for next Wednesday.
The Palestinians have decided to seek UN Security Council approval for their appeal, despite the fact that the US has already declared that it would veto the bid.
- For full coverage of PA's UN campaign click here
For the Palestinian statehood bid to pass the UN Security Council, it would have to garner a minimum of nine out of 15 members' votes. The US, Russia, China, Britain and France – which are the five permanent members of the UNSC – each have veto power.
The Palestinians had originally planned to bring the bid before the UN General Assembly, where they were assured of a majority. The US does not wield veto power in the UNGA, which also has large African and Muslim blocs – guarantying the PA a favorable result – however, UNGA resolutions are symbolic and lack the significance of those decreed by the Security Council.
On Wednesday Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that the efforts to win UN recognition for a Palestinian state were “irreversible” and have wide international support, but added that they do not mean the end of negotiations with Israel.
Abbas said 126 countries back the initiative. He said it was not a symbolic move, but one that would strengthen his negotiating position with Israel.
Thursday's move strengthens the view expressed by Ramallah officials who feel as if the statehood campaign has passed the point of no return.
"We are currently leaning towards going to the Security Council. We're not closing any doors, but we think it's too late for any new proposals."
Nevertheless, sources privy to the move said negotiations with EU delegates are ongoing, in hopes of reaching an acceptable draft for the Palestinians' UN appeal.
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