Fri September 23, 2011
Abbas Officially Asks U.N. To Recognize Palestine As Member State
The president of the Palestinian Authority handed United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon an application that asks the world body to recognize Palestine as a member state. The dramatic move caps months of diplomatic wrangling in which the United States and Israel tried to dissuade Mahmoud Abbas from reaching this point.
Ban Ki-moon's spokesperson made it official on Twitter, saying:
President Abbas just handed the Palestinian application to the Secretary-General.
The AP reports:
In the West Bank, the core of that hoped-for state, a Palestinian man was shot dead in a clash with Israeli soldiers and settlers as antagonisms flared over the statehood bid.
Earlier in the week, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas rebuffed an intense, U.S.-led effort to sway him from the statehood bid, saying he would submit the application to U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon as planned.
"We're going without any hesitation and continuing despite all the pressures," Abbas told members of the Palestinian diaspora at a hotel in New York on Thursday night. "We seek to achieve our right and we want our independent state."
Abbas is set to address the U.N. General Assembly in a few moments.
Update at 12:11 p.m. ET. Abbas Introduced:
Abbas has just been introduced and has been received by a loud applause.