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Shaath: PA optimistic about UN statehood bid

June 28, 2011 11:36 P.M. (Updated: June 30, 2011 4:06 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- The Palestinian leadership is to step up efforts to consolidate a UN statehood bid this September, Fatah Central Committee member Nabil Shaath told local media in Ramallah on Tuesday.

Shaath, who is also commissioner for external relations in the Fatah movement, said the Palestinian Authority has decided to set up a committee to manage all matters related to preparations for the September UN bid.

"There is no return or retreat from the UN step in September; the efforts from now until September will focus on maintaining the countries that recognized the Palestinian state and consolidating their positions in the face of Israeli and American pressure, and recruit an additional number of countries that support the Palestinian step at the UN," Shaath told reporters.

He said the committee would include PLO secretary-general Yasser Abed Rabbo and PA Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki, among other key figures.

The Palestinian bid for statehood state is set to be recognized by 120 countries in September, including 115 countries that already fully recognize the Palestinian state.

Shaath stated that the Palestinian leadership is working to secure recognition from a further 24 countries in order to guarantee the Palestinian bid for statehood at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

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