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PLO: U.S. Pressuring Palestine to delay UN bid to upgrade status

August 8, 2012 (TSR) – Washington is pressing Palestine to delay a fresh bid to upgrade status at the United Nations as an independent state until after the US presidential election.

“There are pressures from the United States and some Arab parties to delay the voting until after the United States presidential elections, due in November,” Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee member, Saleh Raafat, said on Wednesday.

He further added that, “We should reject this demand and insist on heading to the UN in September.”

Earlier this week, Palestinian Authority (PA) Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that Palestine, which currently holds “observer” status at the UN, will ask to be upgraded to “non-member state” at the General Assembly meeting on September 27.

A file photo shows the UN General Assembly room in New York City.

“Palestine will announce immediately to the General Assembly through the General Assembly president… We will head to the General Assembly and its president to tell him that Palestine wants to bid for getting this position,” Maliki told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.

He said acting PA chief Mahmoud Abbas will make the request in a speech and the diplomats will then embark on a campaign to gain support from the member states.

In 2011, a similar campaign failed due to opposition from Israel and its traditional guardian, the United States.

Maliki, however, expressed hope that this time there will be 180 votes in favor of the bid and that Palestine will achieve non-member state status in 2012.

He also said the Palestinians will then pursue full UN membership in the future, which requires approval by the Security Council.

For several years, the Palestinians have been campaigning to achieve UN recognition as a sovereign state based on the pre-1967 borders.

Source: Press TV

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