Minister against Palestinian UN membership
Dutch Foreign Minister Uri Rosenthal has appealed to Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority, to abandon his plans to apply for UN membership next week. The minister says unilateral declarations will not solve anything.
Mr Abbas intends to address the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York and ask for recognition of Palestine as an independent state. Israel and the United States are opposed to this move. Israeli media report, however, that the Israeli government is prepared to see the Palestinians accorded a higher status at the UN.
Uri Rosenthal spoke to Israeli foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman on Friday and apparently urged him to take new steps to enable resumption of the Middle East peace talks. It was not revealed what steps he recommended.
On Sunday, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte called his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the future of Israeli-Palestinian talks.
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