Last updated: 3 September, 2011

Abbas poised to give key speech on UN bid

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas will soon give a key speech on the Palestinian bid for United Nations membership, a presidential spokesman said on Saturday.

Abbas “will make an important address to the Palestinian people in the coming days reviewing the details and importance of going to the United Nations in order to preserve our people’s rights,” spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeina said in a statement published by the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

The Palestinians plan to formally submit on September 20 their bid for UN membership of a Palestinian state on the lines that existed before the 1967 Six-Day War.

The push, championed by Abbas, was discussed on Saturday during a meeting of his Fatah party’s central committee and will also be the subject of a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organisation on Sunday.

The meetings are expected to discuss the wording of the resolution the Palestinians will submit seeking membership as well as the mechanism they will use.

Israel has firmly opposed the Palestinian membership bid, which comes as talks between the two sides have been frozen for nearly a year, grinding to a halt over Israel’s continued settlement construction.

Washington has also warned that it will not support the membership bid at the United Nations, saying the organisation is not the right forum to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.