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Rallies in Romania, Argentina for UN statehood bid

Sept. 21, 2011 12:51 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 22, 2011 10:10 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) – Romanians, Palestinians and Arab immigrants in Romania rallied Tuesday in the capital Bucharest to voice support for efforts to obtain membership in the UN.

Palestinian ambassador Ahmad Aqil told reporters the move at the UN is a political, diplomatic and popular step based on international law and human rights.

Aqil called on the various Palestinian groups to support the bid as much as they can to enhance the Palestinian president’s position when he addresses the UN on Friday.

Participants in the rally waved Palestinian flags and posters about the right of the Palestinian people to have a state of their own with Jerusalem as its capital.

Unions of Palestinian doctors, pharmacists, students, and women in Romania partook in the rally.

Argentina demonstrations

In Buenos Aires, meanwhile, protesters marched to the local UN headquarters on Tuesday in support of Palestine's push for UN recognition, Reuters reported.

The marchers waved signs and chanted in the streets of the Argentine capital, backing President Abbas' resolve for full UN membership for a Palestinian state.

Some signs showed the Palestinian flag next to the Argentine flag and one woman handed out small Palestinian flags.

Hundreds participated in the march that stretched over a city block and included members of human rights groups like the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo.

When the marchers reached the UN headquarters in the Buenos Aires, poet Vicente Zito Lema read a prepared document.

"We have come the source most representative of multi-lateralism in the world, the United Nations, to express our complete support that Palestine is recognized as a sovereign state and a full member," he said.

Last week, the United States and the European Union urged Abbas to back down, arguing that Palestinian independence should be the result of peace talks with Israel.

The Palestinians say US-backed talks are frozen, leaving them no choice but to take their case to the United Nations.
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