Mahmoud Abbas announced Saturday that the Palestinian Authority has decided to seek United Nations recognition as a non-member state. This will happen, said the Palestinian president, despite United States pressure opposing the move.
Abbas, who spoke to reporters Saturday afternoon in the West Bank city of Ramallah, said the PA intends to submit the request to the UN General Assembly on September 27. We are going to the United Nations so that it will confirm that we are a state under occupation. There are 133 states that recognize Palestine with its capital in Jerusalem and additional states with which we share diplomatic relations, he said.
Abbas said there are numerous obstacles and pressures facing the PA, which are directed at preventing the application to the UN. According to the PA president, United States opposition to the move is one of those pressures.
The PA faces two difficult options, he added: one is to turn to the UN and know what awaits us. The other is not to turn [to the UN], and not know what we are missing out on.
During his speech to the press on Saturday, Abbas also said that government employees would not receive full salaries in October because donor countries have not delivered promised aid.
The U.S. and Arab countries have failed to come through this year with the aid money they have pledged, leaving the Palestinian Authority that governs much of the West Bank in a budgetary shortfall that has contributed to rising prices and delays in the payment of government salaries.
The economic conditions have helped spark small but growing protests in the West Bank. Last week demonstrators halted traffic in key Palestinian cities.
There are some 154,000 Palestinian civil servants, and their salaries help keep extended families out of poverty.
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