“Palestine is being reborn. This is my message. May all the people of the world stand with the people of Palestine as it marches steadfastly to its appointment with history toward its freedom and independence.” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressing the UN General Assembly today. (Full text of speech – PDF)
“susan rice, israeli delegation sit stone silent as the Gen Assembly offer rousing applause for Abbas” — Colum Lynch
The Palestinian bid for UN membership will be “quickly” handled and sent to the UN Security Council, UN spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
Speaking after Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas met UN leader Ban Ki-moon, Nesirky said: “The appropriate procedural reviews will be quickly undertaken in the secretariat and afterwards will be transmitted to the president of the Security Council and the president of the General Assembly”. (Al Jazeera)
Al Jazeera reports:
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has handed over a historic request to UN chief Ban Ki-moon asking the United Nations to admit the state of Palestine as a full member.
The Palestinian leader won huge applause and a standing ovation on Friday from some of the assembly as he entered the hall before beginning his speech.
Abbas said he was ready to return to the negotiations, saying he did not want to isolate or delegitimize Israel.
“Here I declare that the Palestine Liberation Organization is ready to return immediately to the negotiating table on the basis of the adopted terms of reference … and a complete cessation of settlement activities,” he told the UN General Assembly.
But he maintained previous peace talks were “smashed against the rocks of the positions of the Israeli government, which quickly dashed the hopes raised by the launch of negotiations last September”.
Palestinians across the West Bank celebrated the formal submission of their bid to become a United Nations member state, despite opposition from the United States and Israel.
In city centres, giant television screens were set up so residents could watch Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, deliver a historic address to the 193 member states of the UN General Assembly.