EU Chief: UN Bid 'for Palestinians to Decide'

EU Chief: UN Bid 'for Palestinians to Decide'

By Al Jazeera
29.8.2011
via Al Jazeera (click for original)
 
 
 
Catherine Ashton, the European Union foreign policy chief, finished a visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories on Monday without commiting the EU to a position on the Palestinian Authority's expected bid for statehood at the United Nations.
 
Ashton spent two days meeting with Israeli and Palestinian officials, including Binyamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, and Salam Fayyad, the Palestinian prime minister.
 
Israeli politicians used her visit as an opportunity to criticise the planned vote. Defence minister Ehud Barak called it "unfortunate and unproductive"; Netanyahu said it was "a violation of commitments by the Palestinians."
 
Ashton said little about the measure during her time in Jerusalem and Ramallah, and again on Monday afternoon, during a press conference in neighbouring Amman.
 
"It is for the Palestinians to decide themselves the approach they want to take at the UN," Ashton said at the press conference with Nasser Judeh, the Jordanian foreign minister.
 
The PA plans to ask the UN for recognition, though it has not yet decided whether to pursue full recognition or "non-member observer state" status, which would put it on a par with the Vatican.
 
The latter requires only a two-thirds vote in the General Assembly, while full recognition also needs approval at the Security Council, where the United States has promised to veto the measure.
 
The PA has not yet drafted a final resolution requesting recognition; Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to submit it at the General Assembly next month.