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Palestinian UN membership bid continues | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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RAMALLAH, (AFP) — Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas vowed on Monday that the Palestinian initiative for full membership at the United Nations would continue.

“Regarding the Security Council and the membership application of Palestine on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, we uphold the Palestinian approach,” said Abbas according to a statement from his office during a meeting with US envoy Jeffrey Feltman.

“The purpose of this initiative is to bolster the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders and not to isolate or delegitimise Israel,” Abbas told Feltman at the presidency headquarters in Ramallah, the statement said.

The Palestinians had to get nine votes from the 15 Security Council members, when they applied for full membership in September, but too many said they would abstain or oppose the bid.

Even if they had succeeded, the United States had made it clear it would veto the bid.

The United States and Israel insist that only an Israeli-Palestinian accord can lead to the creation of a Palestinian state.

“The Palestinian leadership has initiated a series of Arab and international consultations, and continues to make evaluations in order to mobilise more international voices in favour of the accession of the State of Palestine to the UN through the Security Council,” Abbas’s political adviser Nimr Hammad told AFP.

Abbas reiterated that in order to resume negotiations with Israel, it must “stop settlement activity and ensure the acceptance of the principle of two states” based on 1967 borders, adding that it was “not Palestinian conditions but the Israeli government’s obligation,” the statement read.

Israel says it has accepted the attempt to resume peace talks without preconditions following a bid in September by the Middle East Quartet to revive negotiations.

The Quartet — the European Union, Russia, United Nations and United States — has been working to relaunch direct peace talks, which ground to a halt shortly after they began over the issue of Israeli settlement construction.