INTERNATIONAL. Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Friday called on the United Nations to admit a state of Palestine as a full member based on the borders in 1967 before the Six-Day war with Israel.
Waving a copy of the request before the UN General Assembly to huge applause, Abbas said he had submitted an "application for the admission of Palestine on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders," with Jerusalem as its capital.
According to the provisions of the UN Charter, the Secretary-General is tasked with verifying any letter requesting UN membership, after which he sends it to the Security Council and the General Assembly.
The application is considered by the Council, which decides whether or not to recommend admission to the 193-member Assembly, which has to adopt a resolution for the admission of any new Member State.
“Palestine is being reborn. This is my message,” Mr. Abbas told the Assembly’s annual general debate, adding that he hoped it did not have to wait long for the application to be approved.
“I call upon Mr. Secretary-General to expedite transmittal of our request to the Security Council, and I call upon the distinguished members of the Security Council to vote in favour of our full membership. I also appeal to the States that have not yet done so to recognize the State of Palestine.”
In his address to the Assembly, Mr. Abbas said that Israeli Government policies were responsible “for the continued failure of the successive international attempts to salvage the peace process.”
He cited the construction of settlements in the West Bank, the refusal of permits for Palestinians to build in East Jerusalem, and the extensive number of military checkpoints limiting Palestinian movement and the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip as examples of such policies.
“All of these actions taken by Israel in our country are unilateral actions and are not based on any earlier agreements. Indeed, what we witness is a selective application of the agreements aimed at perpetuating the occupation.”
Peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be attained through negotiations, US President Barack Obama told the General Assembly yesterday, urging both sides to make compromises to break the current deadlock and saying that “statements and resolutions” at the United Nations will not resolve the conflict.
“Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians who must live side by side. Ultimately, it is Israelis and Palestinians – not us – who must reach agreement on the issues that divide them: on borders and security; on refugees and Jerusalem,” Mr. Obama said in his speech to the General Assembly’s annual general debate.
He stressed that Palestinians deserved their own State and that Israel for its part deserved recognition and normal relations with its neighbours.
“Friends of the Palestinians do them no favours by ignoring this truth, just as friends of Israel must recognize the need to pursue a two-State solution with a secure Israel next to an independent Palestine,” the US President said.