Last updated: 23 August, 2011

Abbas to meet top US official in Doha

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will on Tuesday meet the US Assistant Secretary for Near East Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, in Doha as Washington presses the Palestinians to abandon plans to bid from UN membership next month, an Arab diplomat says.

The meeting will take place as several Arab foreign ministers convene after a request by the Palestinian Authority “to maintain cohesion in the Arab stand,” the diplomat told AFP on condition of anonymity.

“Washington and Tel Aviv are putting pressure to hamper the Arab-Palestinian effort (to seek UN recognition), without coming up with a serious alternative,” the diplomat said.

The Palestinians are planning to present their bid for UN membership on September 20, when world leaders begin gathering in New York for the 66th session of the General Assembly.

US President Barack Obama opposes the Palestinian move.

Following the collapse of direct peace talks with Israel in September last year, the Palestinians have adopted a diplomatic strategy of looking to secure UN recognition for a state along the frontiers which existed before the 1967 Six-Day War.