One day after calling for full Palestinian membership in the UN, Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi met in Cairo on Thursday with his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas.
The two discussed reconciliation efforts between Abbas’s Fatah faction and Hamas, and the renewed Palestinian bid for UN membership.
On Wednesday, Abbas said that later this month he would request that the UN General Assembly upgrade the Palestinian Authority’s status in the UN to that of a nonmember observer state.
Thursday marked the second time the two have met in Cairo since Morsi became president. Abbas was there in July, one month after the Muslim Brotherhood candidate’s election victory.
Palestinian attempts to upgrade their UN status in the past have failed. Last year, Abbas sought full UN membership for Palestine but failed to win the necessary votes in the UN Security Council. Palestine was accepted as a member of UNESCO, the UN’s cultural and educational arm, in a separate process that drew harsh condemnation from Israel and the US.
In July, it was reported that Abbas would wait until after the US elections in November before making a bid for UN recognition.
Abbas said the recent meetings of Arab ministers in Qatar, Islamic states in Saudi Arabia, and the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement in Iran were behind his decision to make the UN request sooner than originally reported.
Gabe Fisher and AP contributed to this report.