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Palestinians seek to become non-member state at United Nations

August 4, 2012 | 10:59 am

Abbas
RAMALLAH, West Bank –- The Palestinian Authority said Saturday it plans to apply in September to become a United Nations non-member state.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will submit the application after his Sept. 27 address to the U.N. General Assembly, Foreign Minister Riad Malki said.

But he said Abbas will not ask for a vote until after consulting with members of the U.N. on the draft bill for membership, which may take several months.

"An application will be submitted to the U.N. at that time, and we will start contacts with all members of the U.N. and regional groups to see when would be the right time to ask for a vote," Malki said in Ramallah.

"We want countries to help us draft the bill, and the minute we finish it and when we are sure we will have a majority vote from the U.N. member states, we will be ready to ask the U.N. for a vote," he added.

Last year, Palestinian officials failed in their bid to get full U.N. membership when they could not muster nine Security Council members to support their application. The U.S. had also said it would veto any resolution on the U.N. membership bid.

As a result, the Palestinians abandoned the bid and decided to try to become a U.N. non-member state, which requires only a majority vote at the General Assembly.

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--Maher Abukhater

Photo: Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, shown here at the opening of a new hospital in the West Bank city of Jenin on July 28, will reportedly seek non-member status at the United Nations. Credit: Saif Dahlah/ Agence France-Presse

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