Arab lead­ers set to call for UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil vote on Pales­tinian state

Pakistan Observer - - INTERNATIONAL - CAIRO—

Arab for­eign min­is­ters met on Satur­day to agree a draft res­o­lu­tion set­ting a dead­line for the cre­ation of a Pales­tinian state and to agree on a date to present it to the United Na­tions Se­cu­rity Coun­cil for a vote.

In Oc­to­ber, the Pales­tini­ans in­for­mally shared a draft res­o­lu­tion with Arab states and some coun­cil mem­bers, call­ing for an end to Is­raeli oc­cu­pa­tion by Novem­ber 2016.

The text was not for­mally cir­cu­lated to the full 15- na­tion Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, a move that can only be done by a coun­cil mem­ber. It was un­clear at the time if it would be put to a vote.

Arab states have al­ready given their bless­ings to the idea of pre­sent­ing a res­o­lu­tion to the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil but had yet to agree a fi­nalised draft and set a date to present it.

Speak­ing at the open­ing of an Arab League ses­sion in Cairo, Pales­tinian Pres­i­dent Mah­moud Ab­bas said the res­o­lu­tion would be dis­cussed “in or­der to de­liver it to the Se­cu­rity Coun­cil.”

Arab League chief Na­bil Al Araby ap­peared to sug­gest that the fi­nal draft would be en­dorsed and sent to a vote.

“It is nat­u­ral that Pales­tine is head­ing to the UN Se­cu­rity Coun­cil to is­sue a res­o­lu­tion set­ting a dead­line for end­ing the oc­cu­pa­tion,” he said.

Pales­tini­ans seek state­hood in the Is­raeli- oc­cu­pied West Bank and block­aded Gaza Strip with East Jerusalem as their cap­i­tal - lands cap­tured by Is­rael in a 1967 war.

Is­rael ac­cepts the idea of a “two- state so­lu­tion” of an in­de­pen­dent and demo­cratic Pales­tinian state liv­ing along­side Is­rael, but has not ac­cepted the 1967 bor­ders as the ba­sis for fi­nal ne­go­ti­a­tions, cit­ing se­cu­rity and other con­cerns.

The lat­est round of ef­forts to forge a two- state so­lu­tion col­lapsed in April and re­la­tions be­tween the two sides have wors­ened since a 50-day war be­tween Is­rael and Ha­mas in the Gaza Strip this sum­mer. Pales­tini­ans have since said they see lit­tle choice but to push uni­lat­er­ally for state­hood.

Diplo­mats have said that France, Bri­tain and Ger­many are pre­par­ing a sep­a­rate text to end the con­flict, which could be ac­cel­er­ated if the Pales­tinian draft is put for­ward.

France warned on Fri­day it would recog­nise a Pales­tinian state if a fi­nal in­ter­na­tional ef­fort to over­come the im­passe be­tween Is­raelis and Pales­tini­ans failed.

French par­lia­men­tar­i­ans will hold a sym­bolic vote on De­cem­ber 2 on whether the French gov­ern­ment should recog­nise Pales­tine as a state, after sim­i­lar moves in Swe­den, Bri­tain, Ire­land and Spain.— Reuters

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