French President calls for Palestine to be non-member observer at U.N

Arab-Israel Relations Materials 22 September 2011 11:35 (UTC +04:00)
French President calls for Palestine to be non-member observer at U.N
French President calls for Palestine to be non-member observer at U.N

Azerbaijan , Baku, Sept. 22 / Trend A. Isgandarov /

French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Wednesday for Palestine to be admitted to the United Nations as a non-member observer state, while proposing a one-year road map for Middle East peace, Al Arabiya reported.

Speaking at the United Nations General Assembly, Sarkozy urged that the U.N. upgrades Palestine's status from simple observer to a non-member observer, adding that a veto of the Palestinian statehood bid could provoke new rounds of violence in the Middle East.

"Who could doubt that a veto at the Security Council risks engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East?" Sarkozy told the U.N. General Assembly after the United States threatened to veto the Palestinian bid.

Sarkozy proposed a timetable for Israeli-Palestinian peace with resumed talks in one month, agreement on borders and security in six months and a final deal in one year.

Fulfilling his promise to try to sidetrack the Palestinian bid for U.N. membership, Sarkozy told the General Assembly Wednesday that after 60 years of failure its time to change tactics.

He said efforts to reach an accord must include a broader range of players, including Arab nations, the Associated Press reported.

Sarkozy said talks were "doomed to failure" if either side sets preconditions.

Sarkozy also called on Israel not to "remain immobile" in the deadlocked peace process with the Palestinians, AFP reported.

"I say this with deep friendship for the Israeli people: Listen to what the young people of the Arab springs are saying: "Long live freedom!" They are not crying: "Death to Israel," Sarkozy said. "You cannot remain immobile while this wind of freedom and democracy blows across your region."

Netanyahu says Obama deserves badge of honor."

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had told United States President Barack Obama when the two men met before a backdrop of U.S. and Israeli flags on the sidelines of the General Assembly that the Palestinian U.N. bid "will not succeed." He added that that direct negotiation was the only way to achieve a stable Middle East peace.

Among his remarks, Netanyahu also said he thought the Palestinian bid for statehood through the U.N. was a shortcut for Middle East resolve.

The Israeli Prime Minister then thanked Obama for his sharing his opposition to a Palestinian push for U.N recognition, adding that Obama deserves a "badge of honor."

"I want to thank you, Mr. President, for standing with Israel and supporting peace...I think this is a badge of honor and I want to thank you for wearing that badge of honor."

Netanyahu added that direct confrontation between Palestine and Israel would achieve peace.

"We both agree that Palestinians and Israelis should sit down together and negotiate an agreement of mutual recognition and security," Netanyahu said.

"This is the only way to get to a stable and durable peace."

"I think the Palestinians want to achieve a state through the international community, but they are not prepared yet to give peace to Israel in return."

He said that peace cannot be imposed on the countries and would have to be negotiated have to be negotiated.

"The ultimate goal of all of us is two states side by side living in peace."

the Palestinians have launched a campaign to join the UN as a full member state with international recognition based on their 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as a capital.

The United States and Israel say a Palestinian state should emerge from peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel, which would be impossible if the Palestinians declare a state on their own. Washington has pledged to veto such a Palestinian request at the U.N. Security Council.