Palestinians to delay Security Council bid until after Iran talks
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Palestinians to delay Security Council bid until after Iran talks

Minister says Ramallah has yet to secure votes, and Tehran nuke diplomacy has overshadowed lobbying for West Bank withdrawal

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki looks on prior to the start of an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council on the Gaza crisis on July 23, 2014 at the United Nations Offices in Geneva (photo credit: AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI)
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki looks on prior to the start of an emergency session of the UN Human Rights Council on the Gaza crisis on July 23, 2014 at the United Nations Offices in Geneva (photo credit: AFP / FABRICE COFFRINI)

Ramallah has decided to delay submitting an appeal to the UN Security Council to set a timetable for Israel to withdraw from the West Bank, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said in remarks published Monday.

Maliki told the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency that the Palestinians had decided to wait until after the end of the latest round of negotiations between Iran and world powers, and further noted that they had yet to secure a nine-vote majority in the Security Council on the proposal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas vowed earlier this month to follow through on his plan to present a resolution to the UN Security Council in the coming month demanding a timetable for Israel to pull out of the West Bank by November 2016, and said “no pressure” would deter him from this course.

Maliki said the Palestinians were not delaying out of fear of sanctions by the US, which has come out against the move.

The Palestinians need nine votes to win approval or force the US to use its veto in the 15-member council. However, Maliki said the five permanent members of the council were too busy trying to reach a deal with Iran over its nuclear program to give their attention to the Palestinian cause.

Talks with Iran are slated to wrap up Monday, but reports have indicated officials are looking into an extension should a flurry of diplomatic activity in Vienna fail to bring the sides together before the deadline.

Maliki said though Ramallah was not expecting the US to change course on using the veto, it would still forge ahead. He said officials planned to “exploit” momentum in European capitals for a Palestinian state to help with their bid.

Since last month, Sweden has officially recognized the state of Palestine, the British Parliament recognized it in a symbolic vote, and French lawmakers were set to hold a similar vote on Friday.

Spain also voted this month to recognize Palestine within the framework of a permanent agreement.

Britain and France are permanent members of the Security Council, but even if the Palestinians gain a majority, the US could veto the measure.

The Palestinians have countered the possibility by threatening to cut security ties with Israel if the US exercises its veto.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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