PLO Chief: Abbas Will Go to Security Council

President Abbas will apply to the Security Council for United Nations membership as scheduled on Friday, PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo said Thursday.

Abed Rabbo said there has been no agreement to give the UN Security Council more time to discuss the bid other than the legal period which the UNSC takes to review any submission, official news agency Wafa reported.

“Abbas insisted that the Palestinian bid to the UN does not oppose serious negotiations with Israel,” Abed Rabbo said.

The leadership is still working with countries who declared they will vote against the bid or refrain from voting, in an effort to garner support.

“This battle for the recognition of a Palestinian state is crucial and ongoing,” he added.

It is hoped 150 countries will vote in favor of the bid, Abed Rabbo said, denying, however, that the Middle East Quartet will release a statement on Friday.

President Abbas had not arranged to meet with US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, he added, stressing that the Palestinian position has not, and will not, change.

Senior PLO official Nabil Shaath had told reporters on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly that the PLO would "give some time to the Security Council" to consider Palestinian membership before heading to the UNGA.

Some UN diplomats and officials have said that the 15-nation Security Council might buy time by dragging out its review of the Palestinian UN membership application, which Abbas has vowed to submit on Friday to the UN chief Ban Ki-moon.

That review, they say, could theoretically take months, or even years.

US President Obama on Wednesday rejected Palestinian plans to seek UN blessing for statehood and urged a return to peace talks with Israel as he tried to head off a looming diplomatic disaster.

Palestinian officials and analysts were left disappointed by the speech, viewing it as a clear indication of support for Israeli interests.

(Maan News)

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