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Ashrawi says PLO has submitted UN bid

Nov. 27, 2012 4:44 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 28, 2012 6:30 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The PLO has submitted a final draft resolution to the UN General Assembly, PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said Tuesday.

Ashrawi told Ma'an the final resolution was submitted on Monday afternoon to the UN in New York, requesting an upgrade of Palestine's UN status to an "observer state." The UN General Assembly is expected to pass the resolution on Thursday.

The submission puts an end to attempts to pressure the PA to amend the wording of the resolution.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported Tuesday that Israel was negotiating with the US to seek additional clauses to the resolution, following warnings by US officials that President Mahmoud Abbas would not back down from the bid.

Haaretz reported that Israel wanted the resolution to include a clause stating that Palestine would reject membership of the International Criminal Court, where it could charge Israeli leaders with war crimes.

Israel was also seeking a clause stating that the decision grants the PLO no sovereignty over occupied Palestinian land and a commitment to renew negotiations without preconditions.

Britain had indicated that it would support Abbas' UN bid but wanted assurances that the resolution would not be used to join the ICC or other UN bodies, the Financial Times reported Monday.

Asked whether Palestine would file complaints with the International Criminal Court, Ashrawi told Ma'an that it would be left to the Palestinian leadership to decide.

She reiterated that the Palestinian Authority would not abandon any of the inalienable Palestinian rights guaranteed by international law.

Ashrawi said efforts to recruit support for the status upgrade were ongoing, but said Palestine had enough support to pass the resolution.

France said on Tuesday it would vote in favor of Palestinian non-member status at the United Nations.

"This Thursday or Friday, when the question is asked, France will vote yes," Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius announced in the lower house of parliament.

Portugal is also supporting the resolution, Foreign Minister Paulo Portas said last week in Brussels.

"If we say to the Palestinians that the right way is not violence but rather political negotiations, when the Palestinian Authority goes to UNGA, asking not to be Member-State but rather an Observer State, if Europe then closes the door to the Palestinians it will lose its credibility and relevance," Portas said.

"For Portugal the main message is this: if we consider that Palestine has the right to its own state one day, how can we close the door if they chose the way of peace, by going to UNGA, the most multilateral institution in the world, where they ask to become an Observer State?" the minister added.

Meanwhile the Palestinian Authority emphasized the significance of the UN step as a step toward the realization of Palestinians' inalienable national and political rights.

In a statement, the PA cabinet also welcomed with appreciation the international support, both official and popular, for the UN bid.
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