The Palestinian envoy to the United Nations said that they will go ahead with the application for statehood in the UN General Assembly in September even if talks with Israel resume. Riyad Mansour dismissed speculation that Palestinians were having second thoughts about going to the UN in Spetmeber. He said that the current Palestinian plan is based on restarting negotiations, building state institutions and gaining international recognition for a Palestinian state.
‘If we succeed in opening the door for negotiations, we’re not going to stop from attaining what belongs to us as Palestinians in this General Assembly starting on Sept. 20,’ Mansour told reporters following the Security Council’s monthly meeting on the Mideast.
Rebutting Israeli accusations that any decleration of statehood by the Palestinians would be a ‘unilateral act’ Mansour claimed that it was Palestinians right to declare statehood. He said, ‘Israel did not ask permission to declare a state in 1948, the US did not ask the British for permission to declare a state in 1776. Our declaration of state is a natural right and not a unilateral act.’
Both the US and the EU have accelerated efforts to renew peace talks in recent weeks in an effort to divert Palestinian plans for September.
Palestinians have demanded a stop to Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem before returning to talks with Israel. Israel PM Benjamin Netanyahu claims the settlements are not a barrier to peace.
Netanyahu insists that Palestinians must recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state’.