Last updated: 14 July, 2011

Arab League to submit Palestinian statehood bid

The Arab League will submit to the United Nations a request for recognition of a Palestinian state, Secretary General Nabil al-Arabi said on Thursday in Doha.

The Arab peace initiative committee “has decided to submit a call to the member states of the United Nations to recognise a Palestinian state,” Arabi told a news conference after a meeting of the committee in the Qatari capital.

It would “move to present a request for full membership of a Palestinian state in the General Assembly and the Security Council,” Arabi added.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erakat said the aim of the Doha meeting, which was attended by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and various Arab foreign ministers, was to “strengthen Arab support for obtaining UN membership for a Palestinian state.”

The plan for the Palestinians to seek recognition from the UN is opposed by Israel, the United States and some European governments.

But peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians are stalled, with the stalemate increasing Palestinian determination to seek statehood via the UN.

The Palestinians say they will not return to the negotiating table without a freeze on settlement construction and clear parameters for new talks, including that any borders will be based on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six Day War, with mutually agreed land swaps.

But Israel has rejected any new settlement moratorium, and says setting preconditions for talks prejudges the substance of negotiations.