April 19, 2012 - 12:00am

RAMALLAH, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' recent tour in Asia aimed to lobby for support for giving the Palestinians the status of non-member state in the United Nations, a Palestinian official said Thursday.

"Abbas sought international support for the Palestinian position as peace talks with Israel are crippled," said Palestinian foreign minister Riad Al-Maliki, he also sought support "for going to the UN General Assembly" to ask for upgrading the Palestinian statue to a non-member state.

In his tour, Abbas visited Japan, Sri Lanka and the Republic of Maldives. Al-Maliki told Voice of Palestine radio that these countries "will work to secure as much support for us as possible. "

Upgrading the Palestinian status through the UN General Assembly will apparently be the first step the Palestinian leadership would take if Israel neglected the Palestinian demands.

The Palestinian demands, including recognizing the future Palestinian state's borders, halting settlement building, and stopping Israeli army operations in the West Bank, were sent to Israel in an official letter Tuesday.

The Palestinian leadership is no longer seeking a state recognition through the UN Security Council because they could only secure seven votes in the 15-member council.

In the General Assembly the Palestinians have enough majority to upgrade their status, but this remains closer to a symbolic recognition than a real one.


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