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Sunday, 19 September 2021

Palestinian Authority puts state over government

Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority is more concerned with lobbying for support for international recognition of a Palestinian state next September over the establishment of a national unity government with Hamas

Dina Ezzat , Tuesday 21 Jun 2011

Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas is committed to both statehood and recognition, according to an Authority source who spoke to Ahram Online. But while there is a strong move towards supporting a legal-political Palestinian demarche to seek the UN General Assembly’s approval next September for a full-fledged member seat, the agreement with Hamas over the members and head of the national unity government that should be established by the accord of reconciliation signed in Cairo a few weeks ago remains unfinished business.

A meeting scheduled to convene today between Abbas and Hamas leader Khaled Meshaal, who is based in Damascus, was delayed with no clear word on any new date.

An Egyptian official told Ahram Online on Tuesday morning that the matter will be examined "and hopefully it would not be very long before" the national unity government is agreed upon in Cairo.

Meanwhile, at the Cairo headquarters of the Arab League on Monday evening a senior officials meeting was held to orchestrate the Palestinian move towards demanding the UN General Assembly recognition of a Palestinian state.

According to Saeb Erikat, who headed the Palestinian delegation, the meeting examined the difficulties that this demarche could encounter in view of the pronounced US opposition to this move and the tough Israeli lobbying against it.

"We called on all Arab countries to use their influence with the US and other world capitals to refrain from blocking our right to have the world recognise the Palestinian state," Erikat said following the meeting. 

Along with representatives of Arab countries and the League’s secretariat, the meeting was attended by several senior legal experts who suggested how to proceed in putting the request before the UN and argue the legal case for membership as a state despite the inconclusive peace talks with Israel.

According to Hesham Youssef, who headed the Arab League delegation to the Monday meeting, the fact that the demarche for a Palestinian membership could eventually be blocked by the US would not deter the Palestinians and Arabs from pursuing it.

Youssef, the chief of the cabinet of the outgoing Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa, said there is no room for bargaining on this demarche. "The decision is made and it irreversible; Israel is not negotiating and [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu is complicating the chances for negotiations and we are willing to go and face up to US opposition."

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