Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
informed the Arab League's foreign ministers Monday that the Palestinian Authority will present its status upgrade bid to the UN on November 29.
Ramallah is seeking to have the General Assembly upgrade the PA's UN status
from an "observer" to that of a "non-member" state.
"We agreed to go get the vote on November 29… the majority needed for the vote will be on our side," Abbas told the pan-Arab organizations ministers, during a Cairo meeting.
"If it is possible to start talks on the following day (after acquiring observer status), then we are ready for that," Abbas added.
"We have visited all five continents in order to get the maximum number of votes possible. We will get our majority," he said, further reiterating the PA's need for the Arab League's support of the move.
The date in question – November 29 – has dual significance: On November 29, 1947, the UN voted to accept the Partition Plan
for Palestine; and in 1977, the UN General Assembly named Nov. 29 the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.
Ramallah initially considered presenting the bid on November 15, as on November 15, 1988, Yasser Arafat declared Palestinian independence in Algeria.
"The Palestinian appeal to the UN is meant to make us a non-member state thereby upgrading our status from that of 'disputed territory' – which is how we are widely perceived by Israel
– to that of an occupied state," Abbas said.
The Palestinian president said that the PA was willing to resume the Israeli-Palestinian peace process as soon as their bid was granted.
"We are not interested in a confrontation with anyone – not with the US and not with Israel. If it is possible to resume talks the day of the vote – we will," Abbas said.
He also criticized Israel for accelerating settlement
construction: "We want the world to understand that Palestinian lands are under occupation and that the settlements won't change that fact."
The PA has decided to pursue the bid despite the United States' outspoken objection to the move.
Washington said that a unilateral move by the Palestinian will endanger the already crippled peace process further, adding that it may impose financial sanctions on the PA.
Israel is also considering similar stops and is also trying to create a unified international front to block the move.
A "non-member state" status would enable the Palestinians to be accepted to various UN and international bodies such as the International Chamber of Commerce.
The Palestinians require a 193-members majority vote in the General Assembly for their bid to be successful.
The move is largely symbolic, since no nation can be accepted as a member of the UN sans the Security Council's approval.
The United States said that should the matter be presented to the UNSC, it will veto the bid.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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