Palestinians to go to UN despite US threats

AFP , Sunday 11 Sep 2011

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas affirms that Palestinians will seek UN membership regardless of US 'threats'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a news conference in Cairo September 5, 2009 (Photo:Reuters)

President Mahmud Abbas said in remarks published on Sunday that Palestinians will seek UN membership despite US "threats" to stop financial aid.

"We will go to the United Nations to obtain an international recognition to the state of Palestine, despite the obstacles and dangers, including US threats to halt 470 million dollars in annual assistance," Abbas told Jordan's government-owned Al-Rai newspaper in an interview.

"If Washington uses a veto against us, this does not mean a boycott. We had our differences with the US in the past. Anyway, we will take a suitable decision in line with developments," he told the Arabic-language daily.

Abbas is to attend the UN General Assembly summit of world leaders starting September 20, but Washington has already said it would veto any bid to the United Nations Security Council, arguing that a Palestinian state can be established only through negotiations.

But if the effort is blocked at the Security Council, the Palestinians say they will turn to the General Assembly, where they are expected to easily win the votes to upgrade representation from observer body to non-member state.

On reconciliation efforts with Hamas, Abbas said "talks to form a government will resume after October despite Israel's threats to freeze Palestinian Authority funds."

"The next government will not be a unity government. It will be a government of technocrats that will oversee the general election," he said, adding that if polls are held in May he will not run for the presidency.

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