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Abbas sees UN taking weeks, not months on bid

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Abbas sees UN taking weeks, not months on bid


Mahmoud Abbas says he expects the Security Council to finish debating the Palestinians’ bid for full UN membership within weeks, not months.

The clock is ticking already after the Palestinian President presented his application to the UN’s Secretary-General and General Assembly on Friday.

But despite applause in the chamber, Israel insists peace can only be achieved through negotiations and the US has warned it will veto the move.

An eleventh-hour bid to revive stalled peace talks has emerged. The Quartet of Middle East peace mediators has unveiled a plan to get both sides around the negotiating table.

“They are to get together for a preparatory meeting within a month,” said the Quartet’s envoy, former British prime minister Tony Blair. “Within three months, both sides have got to present comprehensive proposals on borders and security, the two first issues to be discussed. Within six months, there is to be substantial progress and then there is to be a framework agreement not later than the end of next year.”

Israeli and Palestinian leaders are said to be studying the proposals from the Quartet, comprised of the EU, US, Russia and the UN. In the meantime, the Security Council is set to start discussing the Palestinians’ bid on Monday.

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