Abbas Tells Obama He'll Seek Palestinian UN Upgrade, Defying U.S. [View all]
RAMALLAH, West Bank/WASHINGTON | Sun Nov 11, 2012 8:43pm EST
(Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told President Barack Obama on Sunday he was intent on pressing ahead with a Palestinian bid for United Nations recognition as a non-member state, despite the U.S. leader's objections.
Abbas explained his decision to Obama in a phone conversation, according to Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdaineh. Continued defiance of Washington on such a sensitive issue casts further doubt on the chances for any renewed U.S.-led Israeli-Palestinian peace drive following Obama's re-election on Tuesday.
The Western-backed Palestinian Authority on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution to U.N. member states that calls for upgrading its U.N. status to that of observer state, despite objections by the United States and Israel.
"President Abbas cited the reasons and motives for the Palestinian decision to seek non-member statehood as continued Israeli settlement activity and the continued attacks on Palestinians and their property," Abu Rdaineh said.