RAMALLAH, January 10 (JMCC) - Palestinians plan to seek recognition for a state from the United Nations in September announced the Palestinian foreign minister Monday, according
The move follows a series of announcements by Latin American countries, most recent among them Chile, that have recognized the Palestinian state within the borders preceding the 1967 war when Israel
occupied the West Bank
and Gaza Strip
Palestinians had been hesitating from making the move in the UN, sources said, for fear that the United States would veto the resolution.
But 2011 is also the year that the Palestinian government has said it would be institutionally prepared to launch the Palestinian state, and the pressure is on to fulfill that promise, despite stalled bilateral negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.
The September target date has the month shaping up to be a crucial one for the Palestinians. It also marks the time frame for President Barack Obama's goal of reaching a peace deal and Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's hope of having the foundations of the future state ready.
Fayyad has acknowledged that the recognition drive at the U.N. will not necessarily bring realization of a state. But it helps the Palestinians enshrine their demand that the 1967 borders serve as the basis for drawing their nation's shape. The Palestinians want their state in the lands Israel captured in the Mideast war that year — the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.
Such recognition would create political and legal pressure on Israel to withdraw its forces from the land of another state that is recognized within the '67 borders by the international organization, Malki, the foreign minister, told reporters in Ramallah.
He said the Palestinian Authority is working to attain as much recognition as possible for a state by September, when it will call for a U.N. vote. It will initially seek Security Council recognition but, failing that, will turn to the General Assembly, where the decisions are not binding but there is no veto.
The Palestinians have made South America a priority. Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador recognized Palestinian statehood last month, and Uruguay, Paraguay and Peru are expected to join Chile on that list in the coming weeks.
Malki said Asia, Africa and the Caribbean were next in line.
In the Caribbean there are 12 small states ... but these countries have the same vote that China has in the U.N. General Assembly, he said.
About 100 other countries have recognized statehood — most of them developing nations — after the Palestinians declared independence in 1988, and a few others, mostly former Soviet republics, did so after the 1993 Oslo peace accords. In the mid- and late-2000s, Venezuela and Costa Rica followed suit.