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PA denies postponing UN report debate

Oct. 2, 2009 9:01 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 4, 2009 9:33 A.M.)
Ramallah – Ma'an – President Mahmoud Abbas' spokesman denied reports on Friday that the Palestinian Authority had dropped its support for the UN-backed Goldstone report earlier the same day in Geneva.

In a carefully worded statement, Nabil Abu Rudeinah said the postponement came after a request from Russia, the United States, and Europe, in a move that was welcomed by other parties at the UN Human Rights Council.

The spokesman did not explain why the PLO's ambassador to the UN, Ibrahim Khraishi, was quoted on Thursday night as saying that "we decided to defer the matter" when asked by reporters investigating reports that he intended to delay the matter.

Abu Rudeinah said the PA never requested that the issue be removed, withdrawn or delayed, and that South African justice Richard Goldstone's report still had the full support of the Fatah-led PA government in Ramallah.

The PLO's top negotiator, Saeb Erekat, issued a similar denial hours before the vote was set to take place. "The decision stands, and this report [that the Palestinians would defer the matter] is untrue. There has been no change in our position."
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