France and the Palestinian Bid for U.N. Membership

The Palestinian Authority (PA) is campaigning to be recognized as an independent state by the United Nations. On September 21 – Wednesday next week – it intends to make a formal application.

“The unilateral demand of the Palestinians is a violation of commitments by the Palestinians in their agreements with Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at the end of August. The United States has declared that it will veto the application and wishes the peace process to continue.

Europe is divided. France is trying to find a formula to prevent an open clash. The Vatican model might be an interim solution, French diplomats have suggested. The PA would be offered a permanent observer status at the UN. To get this, it would have to address its request directly to the UN General Assembly, a way to circumvent the US veto in the Security Council. It would also have to renounce full member state status.

So far, the PA has rejected this option. PA Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki told local media that seeking observer status at the UN was not appropriate. “In any case, the PA can get observer status whenever it wants because it already has the support of a majority of member states,” he said.

Meanwhile, PA envoy to Paris Hael al-Fahoum told FRANCE 24 that Palestinian leaders had received no official proposition along these lines, either from France or from the EU.

“But we support the dynamism of French diplomacy and its attempts to find a reasonable solution,” he said.

Source: France 24

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