Thursday, 15 September 2011

Palestinian statehood bid to be submitted to UN security council on 23 September

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki said Thursday that the Palestinians will submit a bid for full membership at the United Nations Security Council on September 23, but said that they would be open to other suggestions.

The remarks by Malki put an end to speculation that the Palestinians might avoid a showdown with the United States by sidestepping the Security Council and going directly to the UN General Assembly to seek a lesser status of a non-member observer.

Malki said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will personally submit the Palestinian request for membership to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after addressing the General Assembly on the afternoon of Sept. 23. In the meantime, he said the Palestinians would listen to suggested alternatives.

"We will see if anyone carries with him or her any credible offer that will allow us to look into it seriously and to be discussed in the Palestinian leadership. Otherwise, on the 23rd at 12:30, the president will submit the application," Malki told foreign journalists in Ramallah. more

Israel evacuates its Jordanian embassy ahead of 'million-man march' against peace treaty

JERUSALEM — Nearly all the staff have been cleared out of the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital ahead of an anti-Israel protest in Amman on Thursday, for fear the mission could be attacked like the Israeli embassy in Cairo was last week, Israeli newspapers and radio stations reported.

A convoy transporting the Israeli diplomats left Jordan for Israel overnight, the Haaretz newspaper said.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry wouldn't comment on the reports, other than to say that embassy personnel generally leave Jordan on Thursdays ahead of the Muslim weekend. It said a duty representative remained on call in Amman, as is routine procedure.

Activists in Jordan have called for a "million-man march" against the Israeli mission, part of a rising tide of anti-Israel protests there and in Egypt, the two Arab countries that have made peace with the Jewish state.

The Jordanian protesters – led by leftists, labor unions and Islamists – are expected to start gathering near the embassy by 1400 GMT. Their demands include the embassy's closure, expulsion of the ambassador from Jordan and the annulment of the 1994 peace treaty with Israel. more