March 30, 2011 - 12:00am

The Palestinian leadership will ask the United Nations to recognize the Palestinian state in September despite Israeli objection, Foreign Affairs Minister Riad al-Maliki said Wednesday.

The Palestinians will ask the U.N. Security Council to recognize an independent Palestinian state on the lands that Israel occupied in the 1967 war, al-Maliki was quoted by local Al- Ayyam newspaper as saying.

However, he expected that a member of the U.N. Security Council would use the veto to block the draft resolution on the recognition of the Palestinian state, hinting the United States, which sees that the Palestinian state should be a result of a negotiated agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

However, if the draft resolution was vetoed, the Palestinians can go to the U.N. General Assembly to ask for recognition according to the U.N. "Uniting for Peace" resolution, which allows the General Assembly to address issues related to peace and security when differences between the U.N. Security Council members thwart a decision, al-Maliki said.

Al-Maliki also rejected Israeli threats to take unilateral measures if the U.N. recognized the Palestinian state, saying "the Israeli threats reflect a state of confusion and fears."

Peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians were halted in September 2010. The Palestinians walked out of the U.S.-brokered negotiations, protesting the resumption of Jewish settlement construction in the West Bank.


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