Palestinian officials foresee secular, pluralistic state
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from USA Today
by Oren Dorell - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Palestinian leaders say a future Palestinian state would be secular and open to all religions — even Jews — if they are willing to follow their laws as Palestinian citizens. The Palestinians say they'll seek a vote on Palestinian statehood in the United Nations this month.

'Abbas working on deal with EU, US to avoid statehood bid'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Jerusalem Post
by Herb Keinon - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

London based Arabic daily Al Hayat on Friday reported that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was meeting with European Union and American officials to try and come to an agreement that would avoid bringing Palestinian unilateral statehood before the United Nations General Assembly and Security Council next week. According to the report, of the 20 paragraphs in the proposal, four of them had been agreed upon at the time of publication.

Abbas to meet U.S. envoy Thursday
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Xinhua
(Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will meet U.S. Middle East envoy David Hale Thursday to discuss renewing peace talks with Israel, an official from Abbas' office said. Hale is in the region to try to reach a compromise allowing the negotiations to resume and avoid a Palestinian bid for United Nations membership later this month. "Abbas is still open to study any serious ideas from U.S. officials regarding the launching of a meaningful peace process," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Netanyahu: Israel will agree to upgrade of Palestinian status, not statehood
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Haaretz
by Barak Ravid - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Israel would agree to upgrade the Palestinian Authority's status at the United Nations as long as it is not declared a state, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in talks with Catherine Ashton, the European Union's foreign policy chief, over the past few days. On Thursday Netanyahu decided to address the UN General Assembly next Friday, the day the Palestinians will submit their statehood bid. Meanwhile, the Foreign ministry summoned the ambassadors of five key EU members Thursday to rebuke them over their countries' policy on the Palestinians' bid for UN recognition as a state.

EU seeks limited upgrade of Palestinians' UN status
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Justyna Pawlak - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

BRUSSELS, Sept 15 (Reuters) - - The European Union hopes to persuade Palestinian leaders to drop plans for full United Nations membership this month in return for a nuanced upgrading of their U.N. observer status, EU diplomats said on Thursday. The EU's foreign policy chief, Catherine Ashton, went to the Middle East this week to mediate between Israel and the Palestinians with the aim of reviving peace talks and averting a Palestinian statehood bid at the U.N. General Assembly, which begins its annual gathering on Sept. 21.

"Progress" in Euro-diplomacy for limited UN upgrade
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Ma'an News Agency
(Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- European diplomats trying to persuade Palestinian leaders to seek an upgrade of their UN status without full membership have had "meaningful progress," Israeli media said. Hebrew-daily Yedioth Ahronoth quoted a senior Israeli source on Thursday saying Palestinians' acceptance of this proposal will improve their UN standing, while allowing Israel to coexist with the new status.

Avoiding an Israeli-Palestinian 'Train Wreck'
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Council On Foreign Relations
by Bernard Gwertzman - (Interview) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

Though Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas plans to seek Palestinian statehood status at the UN General Assembly meeting next week, efforts are underway by the United States, Israel, and the Palestinians to avoid a major collision on the issue, says Ziad J. Asali, president of the American Task Force on Palestine.

Israelis, Palestinians headed toward U.N. showdown
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The Los Angeles Times
by Edmund Sanders - (Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

Reporting from Ramallah, West Bank— Rebuffing international pressure to soften their positions and return to the negotiating table, Israelis and Palestinians announced separately Thursday that they were moving forward with an expected diplomatic battle next week at the United Nations. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the U.N. General Assembly on Sept. 23, after which he will submit a formal application to admit Palestine into the international body as a state, according to his foreign minister, Riad Malki.

Palestinians Resist Appeals to Halt U.N. Statehood Bid
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from The New York Times
by Ethan Bronner - (Analysis) September 15, 2011 - 12:00am

JERUSALEM — Senior American and European diplomats tried without success on Thursday to persuade the Palestinian leaders to skip or modify their planned United Nations membership bid, officials involved said. Riad Malki, the Palestinian foreign minister, told foreign journalists in Ramallah that the Palestinians would continue to listen to suggestions but that barring something very persuasive, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority would submit a full membership application to the United Nations Security Council next Friday.

Israel calls for continuing aid for Palestinians
ATFP World Press Roundup Article from Alertnet
by Susan Cornwell - (Analysis) September 16, 2011 - 12:00am

WASHINGTON, Sept 15 (Reuters) - Israel is urging the international community to continue aid to the Palestinians just as U.S. lawmakers are contemplating an aid cutoff if the Palestinians press for statehood at the United Nations. An Israeli government website on Thursday carried a report saying the Palestinian Authority already faced economic and fiscal woes, in part due to a decline in donor aid.

American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017