Palestinian Issue in Focus at UN Assembly

Palestinian Issue in Focus at UN Assembly United Nations, Sep 24. – Enveloped in an exciting political atmosphere in the wake of the UN entry request of the Palestinian State, the General Assembly enters on Saturday its fourth session of speeches by heads of State, government and Foreign ministers.

The holding of an unusual Saturday session at the UN headquarters is due to a long list of speakers registered to take part in the general debate scheduled to run until September 30.

Four Caribbean representatives are scheduled to speak today for Latin America and the Caribbean. They are Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, and Saint Kitts and Nevis, according to documents distributed to journalists here.

The meeting, attended by more than 120 leaders, was rocked yesterday by the official request made by President of the Palestinian National Authority Mahmoud Abbas so that the Palestinian State is accepted as the 194th member of the world body.

The filing of the Palestinian request made most delegates stand up in applause to back it.

Washington already announced it would be vetoing the Palestinian request in the Security Council, whose 15 members must discuss the case and draft their recommendation for the 193-seat General Assembly.

The Palestinian demand to UN Chief Ban Ki-moon was already brought to current President of the UN Security Council, Lebanese Ambassador Nawaf Salam, who announced that consultations on the issue will start on Monday, September 26 among members of the Council, in charge of world peace and security.

Also on Friday, the so-called Middle East Quartet (the USA, Russia, the EU and the UN) issued a statement that almost omitted the Palestinian petition and insisted on renewing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

This is the same stand adopted by Washington to try to prevent Abbas from launching his entry claim at the UN.

The Quartet set a month-long deadline to hold preparatory meetings to agree on the agenda and the way to proceed in eventual talks, and indicated that both parties must commit to the objective of "reaching an understanding within an agreed framework by the end of 2012."

He Quartet also established that Israel and the Palestinians must present proposals in the next few months regarding the territories and security, and set a six-month long deadline to achieve "substantial progress." (Prensa Latina)