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Abbas sees UN taking weeks, not months on bid

Speaking to journalists on his plane back from New York, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says the international mood has changed after the speech he delivered in the UN General Assembly

Reuters , Saturday 24 Sep 2011
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas gestures toward the audience after he addressed the 66th U.N. General Assembly at at United Nations headquarters Friday, Sept. 23, 2011. (Photo:AP)
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Saturday he expected the Security Council to finish debating his nation's application for full UN membership within weeks, not months.

Speaking to journalists on his plane back from the General Assembly in New York, where he presented the request, Abbas said Security Council members had initially appeared unenthusiastic about the idea of discussing the application.

But he said the mood appeared to change after he delivered a speech to the General Assembly on Friday, during which he pressed the Palestinian case for an independent state alongside Israel.

The United States, Israel's closest ally, has said it will block the move. Both the US and Israel insist on direct peace talks as the "proper" way for Palestinians to pursue peace.

Washington holds veto power in the 15-member Security Council.

"We are talking about weeks not months," Abbas said.

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