Palestinians vying for statehood support

The Netherlands rejected a Palestinian initiative last week to seek U.N. recognition of a Palestinian state. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met with Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal to seek support for the plan to seek statehood at the U.N. General Assembly in September.

Rosenthal bluntly rejected the idea of the Palestinian initiative going to the General Assembly. “No, it will not be supported by the Netherlands,” Rosenthal told reporters. The Netherlands is a strong supporter of Israel, but also sends millions in development aid each year to the Palestinian Authority.

Meanwhile, a top Palestinian official said July 5 that Russia is supporting his the bid for Palestinian statehood. Nabil Shaath, head of a Palestinian delegation that met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, said “our plan to go to the United Nations will get support from Russia.” However, he didn’t specify exactly what he meant and the Russian Foreign Ministry wouldn’t comment on his claim.

U.N. membership requires a recommendation from the Security Council and approval by two-thirds of the General Assembly, or 128 countries. — ap