Obama Arrives at United Nations
President Barack Obama arrived in New York ahead of the scheduled United Nations Security Council meeting. The Palestinian leadership is pressured to abandon its plan to ask the UN to declare the occupied territories part of its state.
The Europeans are the ones pressuring Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas to forego the request. France said that the diplomatic cost of a showdown with the United States would be high and will damage the Palestinian cause.
President Abbas said that everything is against them at this point but he told UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon that he would not back down in making the request to the Security Council on Friday. The Middle East quartet of UN, EU, US and Russia met last Monday evening to come up with a plan for peace talks and avoid a showdown in the Security Council.
Diplomats said that negotiations should be based on the 1967 borders with some trades of territories. This would be a significant step towards ending the occupation but the Palestinians are skeptical about winning their independence after 20 years of negotiations.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said that Abbas was wasting time in his bid for statehood. The Prime Minister wants to meet Abbas in a one-on-one talk in New York.