Abbas and Ban
Photo: EPA

Abbas to go on 'persuasion campaign'

Palestinian president to travel to Colombia, Portugal; Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki to visit Bosnia in last-ditch effort to convince undecided Security Council members to vote in favor of statehood bid

While the United States and Israel make last-ditch efforts to convince the undecided Security Council members not to support the Palestinian bid for full UN membership, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki have scheduled their own "persuasion tour" to UNSC member states.


The British Telegraph reported on Friday that al-Maliki said the Palestinians are in contact with Bosnia, Colombia and Portugal in order to persuade them to back the Palestinian bid.


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According to the report, as part of the Palestinians' large-scale efforts to secure a majority at the Security Council, al-Maliki will visit Bosnia, while Abbas is slated to travel to Colombia and Portugal, as well as Honduras and the Dominican Republic.


Palestinians are concerned that Columbia might vote against their statehood bid, due to its close military cooperation with Israel, which might be undermined as a result of their support for Palestinian statehood.


According to officials in Ramallah, Russia, China, India, South Africa, Brazil, Lebanon, Nigeria and Gabon already announced that they would back the Palestinian bid, which leaves them with the need to secure one more vote in order to reach the needed majority of nine out of 15 Security Council members.


However, even if a majority is reached, the United States already announced that it would use its veto power to thwart the vote.


On Thursday, the Palestinians got another vote of confidence when the European Parliament passed a resolution calling the Palestinian bid for statehood "legitimate."


"The right of Palestinians to self-determination and to have their own state is unquestionable, as is the right of Israel to exist within safe borders", the resolution said.


The European Parliament also reiterated its endorsement of the 1967 borders as a basis for negotiations, stressing that "no changes to the pre-1967 borders, including with regard to Jerusalem, other than those agreed by the parties should be accepted." The parliamentarians urged Israel's government to halt settlement construction.




פרסום ראשון: 09.30.11, 11:18
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