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Arab leaders seek UN-backed Palestine

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Arab leaders seek UN-backed Palestine


The Arab League voted on Saturday to seek full UN membership for a Palestinian state in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

The proposed state would have East Jerusalem as its capital.

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, told the meeting of Arab leaders in the Qatari capital of Doha that the opposition of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left them with no other option.

“We are serious in our decision to use the UN, it is not manoeuvring,” he said. “We will do it unless Netanyahu agrees to begin negotiations today on a substantial basis.”

In a speech on May 19, US President Barack Obama called for Israel and the Palestinians to use the borders existing before the 1967 Six Day War as the basis for talks.

But he also said that seeking UN recognition for a Palestinian state would be a mistake.

Our correspondent Maha Barada said that Arab states agree the negotiations with Israel have stalled for too long and they feel now that the case for going to the United Nations is a compelling one.

The move is likely to fail as the US, a long-time Israeli ally, has veto rights on the UN Security Council.

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