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Palestinians seeking UN upgrade in statehood bid


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said in a speech to the UN General Assembly Thursday that he was seeking to upgrade the Palestinians’ UN status to nonmember state as a step towards being recognized as a sovereign country.


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday he would seek an upgrade to the Palestinians’ U.N. status to recognize it as a sovereign country and cautioned that Israeli settlement expansion meant time was running out for a two-state solution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has opened talks on a new bid for international recognition at the U.N., but didn't specify exactly when he will ask the General Assembly to vote.

Abbas said Thursday in his speech to the assembly that ``intensive consultations with the various regional organizations and the state members'' were underway.

The Palestinians will apply to the General Assembly for nonmember state status.

That stands in sharp contrast to last year, when they asked the Security Council to admit them as a full member state, but the bid failed.

Abbas insisted that the new quest for recognition was ``not seeking to delegitimize Israel, but rather establish a state that should be established: Palestine.''

Palestinian officials said their bid is likely to be submitted on Nov. 29.
Abbas also warned that Israeli settlements were a threat to any chance for peace.

“Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community there is still a chance - maybe the last - to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace,” Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly.

But he warned the 193-nation assembly that Israel was “promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe” if it continues with its current settlement policies in the occupied West Bank.

(France24 with wires)

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