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Canada: Palestinians must drop U.N. bid

Nov. 26, 2012 at 12:22 PM   |   Comments

OTTAWA, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Authority will face consequences from Canada if it continues to seek U.N. recognition, sources told The Globe and Mail in Toronto.

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has threatened "there will be consequences" if Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas does not end his campaign for the P.A. to be recognized by the United Nations General Assembly as a non-member observer state, the newspaper reported Monday.

Abbas plans to present his request to the General Assembly Thursday. Last year, the U.N. Security Council turned down the same request.

Harper told Abbas, whose Fatah organization rules the West Bank, to drop his bid in a private 15-minute meeting in New York two months ago, sources briefed on the meeting said.

Fatah's diplomats are received by Canada, but Harper told Abbas the authority's mission in Ottawa would be closed and its representatives kicked out of the country if Abbas did not stop his attempt.

In addition, Canada has promised $300 million in aid to the West Bank, but the five-year term of that pledge is about to end. Without that money, the Palestinian Authority won't be able to pay its civil servants, observers say.

To reinforce Ottawa's stance, Foreign Minister John Baird has reportedly said he will go to New York to cast Canada's "no" vote.

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