MOSCOW, November 29 (RIA Novosti) - The Palestinian Authority is convinced that the majority of UN member states will support the Palestinian bid to upgrade its UN status, the Palestinian ambassador to Moscow said on Thursday.
“Most states will support the resolution to recognize [PA] as an observer state. It will give a new dimension to the Palestinian issue and change the foundations of the political process,” Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Fayed Mustafa said.
Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas will address the UN General Assembly at 00:15 Moscow time on Friday (20:00 Thursday GMT), asking members to vote on raising PA status from observer entity to a non-member observer state.
The bid, if supported, will amount to an implicit recognition of the Palestinian statehood and increase PA’s chances of joining other UN bodies and international courts to put additional diplomatic pressure on Israel.
The vote is due at around 2:00 Moscow time [22:00 GMT]. Russia, the UK, France, Switzerland, Greece and Italy announced they would vote in favor, while the US and Germany said they opposed the resolution.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu downplayed the vote, saying it does not reflect “vital interests of peace” and would only distance the establishment of the Palestinian state, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency said.
“Israel is prepared to live in peace with a Palestinian state, but for peace to endure, Israel’s security must be protected. The Palestinians must recognize the Jewish state and they must be prepared to end the conflict with Israel once and for all,” the prime minister said during a visit to the Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
"The only way to achieve peace is through agreements that are reached by the parties directly; through valid negotiations between themselves, and not through U.N. resolutions that completely ignore Israel’s vital security and national interests. And because this resolution is so one-sided, it doesn’t advance peace, it pushes it backwards," Netanyahu said.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said the Palestinian status at the UN was “a matter for United Nations Member States to decide” and called on the General Assembly “to approach this responsibly and constructively.”
He also called on the Israeli and Palestinian leaders "to breathe new life into the peace process which is now on life support" as diplomatic efforts have reached deadlock.