PLO upbeat on prospects at United Nations

Nov. 29, 2012 at 2:32 PM
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UNITED NATIONS, Nov. 29 (UPI) -- The Palestinian Liberation Organization said it believes it has enough support from member states to raise its status at the U.N. General Assembly.

The British government this week urged Palestinian leaders to hold off on pressing a resolution at the U.N. General Assembly that would increase its status there to an observer state.

This week, the PLO, in a statement, said the move was a way to break the current political deadlock and move forward with the Middle East peace process.

"The enhancement of Palestine's status is a step that will benefit all parties looking to resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict and achieve peace in the region through the two-state solution," the statement read.

The PLO says it has the support from 130 members of the U.N. General Assembly, the BBC reports. A simple majority is needed to pass resolutions in the 193-member body.

London said it would likely abstain from a vote unless Palestinian leaders gave up an effort to join the International Criminal Court. Palestinian Ambassador to the United Kingdom Manuel Hassassian told the BBC, however, that demand was "absolutely unworkable."

If the measure passes as presented, Palestinians could technically ask the ICC to investigate allegations of Israeli war crimes.

The Israeli and U.S. governments have voiced strong opposition to the Palestinian resolution, saying it would undermine the peace process. The BBC reports many leading European governments were likely to abstain from the vote.

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