Sunday Sep 18, 201111:19 PM GMT
UK only backs "Observer" status for Palestine
Sun Sep 18, 2011 11:21PM
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Britain says it would recognize Palestine as a state but only if Palestinians agree to have the same 'non-member state' status at the United Nations as the Vatican.


Palestinians have currently an observer status at the UN and the new proposal would help them boost their position though it would be still far short of what chairman of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas seeks in the UN next week.

Abbas is keen to demand full statehood for Palestine at the UN Security Council but Britain wants him to refrain from doing so in exchange for London's offer.

The dilemma over Palestinians' statehood has revealed major shortcomings and discrimination at the United Nations as Abbas has the needed two-thirds majority support of the 193-member General Assembly yet his bid could fail if the Security Council does not vote in favor of any of its five veto-wielding members veto the move.

Britain and its western allies see the prospect of a face-off between the majority of the world nations and a few members of the Security Council as disastrous for them and the Israeli regime.

Yet London and the regime's biggest mentor, the US, have chosen to term the development as “catastrophic” for the so-called peace process between the Israeli side and the Palestinians, a peace process that has never attained its objectives.

The threat to the credibility of the Security Council has been so urgently felt that the US President Barack Obama has vowed to veto Abbas's bid if he takes it to the council.

Currently British Prime Minister David Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague are set to call on Abbas to resume talks with the Israeli regime on a “two-state solution” that is part of the so-called Middle East peace process.

According to the Foreign Office sources, Britain will start using the word “state” to refer to Palestine for the first time if Palestinians agree to the terms stipulated by London.

Analysts say Abbas could embarrass the US by offering a copy of what Obama had to say on the issue in a speech earlier this year as the Palestinians' bid to the Security Council therefore showing the falsity of the Western promises to the Palestinians and forcing the US to veto its president's words.

Obama said at the time “the United States believes that negotiations should result in two states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”

He later u-turned on that position under pressure from Israeli officials.

Abbas revealed his determination for seeking Palestinians' “legitimate right” to UN membership in a speech on Friday.

“The United Nations was set up to protect the rights of the people, and to help people's self-determination and to prevent occupation of others with force,” he told the Palestinian TV.

“We will be going to the United Nations to ask for a legitimate right, which is to obtain full membership of the state of Palestine inside this organisation,” he added.

AMR/HE
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