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PA’s Abbas to delay pursuit of UN statehood

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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will not ask the UN General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state next month, Foreign Minister Riad Maliki said on Thursday.
Abbas had said that he would seek the status of nonmember for a Palestinian state in the UN during next month’s General Assembly meeting despite opposition from the US and Israel.
But Maliki said that instead Abbas would only deliver a speech at the General Assembly session on September 27, where he was planning to announce his intention to seek the status of non-member in the UN.
“President Abbas will ask the head of the Palestinian mission to the UN to launch contacts with regional groups in the UN and the secretary-general about the best formula for presenting a request for membership that would win the support of a majority of countries,” Maliki told the London-based Al-Hayat newspaper.
Abbas’s decision to delay the new statehood bid will spare him a confrontation with the US administration, whose representatives have been exerting pressure on him in recent weeks to refrain from such a move on the eve of the American presidential election.
A senior PA official in Ramallah told The Jerusalem Post that Abbas decided to delay the statehood bid because of US “threats and extortion.” The official said that the US administration and some EU countries had threatened financial sanctions against the PA if Abbas insisted on filing another request with the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state next month.

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