In stark contrast to 2011, the Palestinian delegation to the UN General Assembly is working quietly and limiting its remarks to the media.
Since Friday, few details have emerged of President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to New York for the UN’s 67th General Assembly, or his plan to seek an upgrade to Palestine’s status at the world body.
In 2011, Abbas submitted a request to the UN for a full upgrade to state membership of the UN and thousands gathered in city squares across the West Bank to watch his address to the General Assembly. The bid was advertised in a poster campaign and a giant UN chair was erected in central Ramallah.
The bid failed to pass the Security Council, where Israel’s staunch ally the US holds a veto, and this year Abbas says he will ask the General Assembly for a less ambitious upgrade, from "observer entity" to "observer state."
Abbas has not announced how or when he intends to submit it.
Meanwhile on the sidelines of the annual assembly, Abbas has held around 20 meetings with presidents and foreign ministers.
In remarks to Italian media, Abbas’ spokesman Nabil Abu Rdeina said Abbas would meet US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
"The Palestinian priority today is to obtain international recognition of a Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with Jerusalem as the capital of this state," Abu Rdeina told the Italian news agency Adnkronos International.
He said Abbas would address the General Assembly on Thursday and "reveal to the whole world the obstacles to the peace process."