Abbas: Palestinians Not Seeking to Join More UN Agencies for Now

Palestinians applied to join 15 UN organizations in April, with UN envoy saying PA could become signatory to up to 550 international treaties.

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PA President Mahmoud Abbas, right, shaking hands with Bulgarian Prime Minister Plamen Oresharski in Ramallah on Wednesday.Credit: AP

The Palestine Liberation Organization has no plans to request membership from any additional international organizations in the near future, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview with Walla news site on Wednesday.

Israel is aware of the Palestinian decision, Walla reported.

The decision is surprising given that the PA leadership has been saying since April that it plans to turn to various UN agencies in light of the failure of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

The Palestinian Authority applied to join 15 UN institutions in early April, with the Palestinian ambassador to the United Nations saying the PA could also become a signatory to up to 550 international treaties or conventions.

Abbas told Walla the Palestinians are still waiting to see what the next diplomatic developments will be.

He also said he warned Israel and the United States two days before applying to join the institutions that it would go through with the request if Israel did not free prisoners in the fourth batch of the planned release.

Abbas told Walla he held off the vote for those two days to see if the Israeli government would change its position on the prisoner release. The letter was sent to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's envoy, Isaac Molho, and Martin Indyk, the U.S. special envoy for Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, Abbas said.