Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas told Arab foreign ministers gathered in Cairo on Monday that the Palestinian Authority will present its bid for non-state membership of the United Nations on November 29.
Following talks with Arab League chief Nabil al-Arabi, “it has been agreed that the request will be presented on November 29,” Abbas said, calling for support from Arab states.
“If it is possible to start talks on the following day (after acquiring the observer status) then we are ready for that,” Abbas added.
Before his Cairo meeting, Abbas met with Saudi King Abdullah, SPA state news agency reported. The two leaders discussed “developments in the Palestinian issue, as well as the obstacles facing peace in the region and the situation in the occupied Palestinian territories,” the agency in a brief report.
On Sunday, U.S. President Barack Obama told Abbas that his administration opposes a Palestinian bid for non-state membership of the U.N., the Palestinian leader’s spokesman said.
“There was a long telephone conversation between president Mahmud Abbas and Barack Obama,” Nabil Abu Rudeina told AFP. “Obama expressed the opposition of the United States to the decision to go to the U.N. General Assembly.”
Abbas explained “the reasons and motives for the Palestinian decision to go to the United Nations ... including the continued (Jewish) settlement activity and Israeli aggression against citizens and property,” Abu Rudeina said.
Israel and the United States are both opposed to the Palestinian plan, insisting that a Palestinian state can only result from peace negotiations, which have been suspended for the past two years.
On Tuesday, Israel said that it was preparing to counter a Palestinian bid for enhanced U.N. status later this month, a foreign ministry spokesman told AFP.
The draft resolution, which could be put to a vote in the 193-nation U.N. General Assembly, also reiterates the Palestinian Authority's commitment to the “two-state solution” in which Israel and an independent Palestinian state would co-exist in peace.
If approved, the resolution would “accord to Palestine Observer State status in the United Nations system, without prejudice to the acquired rights, privileges and role of the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative of the Palestinian people,” according to a draft obtained by Reuters.