Palestinians overcome hurdle in attempt to win statehood and UN seat

Donor nations have reaffirmed the Palestinian Authority’s readiness for statehood based on new reports from key international financial institutions and the United Nations.

The backing from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the UN and the donors at a meeting on Sunday evening should give a boost to the Palestinians as they press their bid for UN membership as an independent state.

Norway’s foreign minister Jonas Gahr Stoere, who chairs the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, said efforts “to build robust state institutions and revive the Palestinian economy stand out as a remarkable international success story.” He added: “It’s now crucial to safeguard these achievements and the progress made so far.”

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Foreign Secretary William Hague yesterday urged the Israelis and Palestinians to return to negotiations as the Palestinians prepare to apply for full UN membership at the Security Council on Friday, a move which the United States is likely to veto.

The UK Government has yet to declare whether it will back the bid, instead calling for more talks towards establishing a Palestinian state next to Israel.

Mr Hague fears the Palestinians’ bid would lead to confrontation. He is to hold talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today.