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Abbas to delay Palestinian UN bid until after US elections

Despite Arab League endorsement, threat of US sanctions thwarts latest attempt at UN recognition

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash 90)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash 90)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has decided to delay a Palestinian bid for UN recognition until after US elections in the fall, Arabic daily Al Hayat reported on Tuesday.

Last year, Abbas sought full UN membership for Palestine but failed to win the necessary votes in the UN Security Council. Palestine was eventually 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.

The revised bid would request a largely symbolic, non-member observer state status from the UN General Assembly, where the Palestinians likely will have enough votes to be accepted.

According to media reports, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Abbas in a Paris earlier this month that if the Palestinians submit the bid before the fall US elections, the US would enforce economic and political sanctions against the Palestinian Authority.

On Sunday, the Arab League backed a renewed Palestinian bid for UN recognition but did not specify a date for the bid.

 

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