Palestinian calls to delay statehood bid

July 20, 2011 at 7:07 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 20 (UPI) -- A senior Palestinian official called on the Palestinian Authority to delay its bid for statehood for a year to avert damage to diplomatic relations.

Nabil Amr, a member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization and a former minister, said the Palestinian Authority has climbed "a very high tree" with its plan to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state, The Jerusalem Post reported Wednesday.

"The leadership does not have any guarantees that it would be able to climb down safely from the tree," he said. Such a move could harm relations with the United States and European Union.

"I personally will advise the leadership to delay the U.N. bid by another year so that we would be able to make better preparations than what has been done until now," Amr told the London based al-Quds al-Arabi newspaper.

Amr said he planned to advise Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to delay the statehood bid for a year when they meet at the upcoming PLO Central Council session.

He warned if the Palestinians move ahead with the statehood initiative, they could lose many friends.

"The Americans have not hidden their position and threats to impose sanctions not only against us, but also against those who would vote in favor of the statehood plan," he said. "On the face of it, this is an immoral issue. But in essence it would cause us some damage."

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