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Palestinian Authority halts efforts to join UN agencies

February 15, 2014 at 12:37 pm

The Foreign Minister of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, Riyad Al-Maliki, has said that the leadership has promised Washington to halt its efforts to join United Nations agencies.

Al-Maliki said that the PA has promised US Secretary of State John Kerry not to pursue membership of various agencies, especially the International Court of Justice, as a “goodwill gesture” in order to “prove” that Palestinian intentions are sincere in giving peace the greatest opportunity. The PA could seek redress against Israel in the International Criminal Court as a member.

In Washington for a meeting of Arab foreign ministers, Al-Maliki said that during Obama’s visit to Ramallah in March the PA promised to demonstrate goodwill by making dedicated efforts to achieve peace with Israel and realising the two-state solution.

“The Americans approached us [and asked us] to refrain from going to UN agencies while we are making such  efforts… We said, ‘Yes,'” Al-Maliki told a press conference arranged by the Palestine Liberation Organisation office in the US capital.

The PA foreign minister asserted that the Palestinians did not get anything in return for the promise made to the Americans; there will be no settlement freeze by the Israelis, for example. He argued, though, that the PA is not stopping its membership of UN agencies as a result of pressure from Washington: “We are in a position of strength not a position of weakness.”

“However,” he insisted, “if they [the Israelis] put one single stone on the ‘E-1’ [settlement] plan, we will go immediately to the ICC in the Hague.”