FM Liberman, Israel’s EU envoys meet on Palestinians’ U.N. status bid


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Foreign Minister Avidgor Liberman met with Israel’s ambassadors to European Union countries on the Palestinians’ bid for a status upgrade at the United Nations.

The ambassadors at Sunday’s meeting presented the positions of the countries in which they serve, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated in a speech Sunday that his people intend to go to the United Nations General Assembly this month with a request to upgrade "Palestine" to non-member state status, despite pressure not to make the bid.

“Some powers are trying to tell us that the two-state solution doesn’t come from the U.N. but through negotiations," Abbas reportedly said. "Negotiations are crucial. But to get U.N. recognition is also key.”

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday that Israel will stop collecting taxes for the Palestinian Authority and will not hand over any collected money if Abbas goes through with the request to the General Assembly. 

Israel has frozen payments to the PA in the past over disagreements with the Palestinians.

The United States is urging the PA to wait on its enhanced status request and instead return to the negotiating table.

Last week, the PA circulated a draft resolution of its request to member states of the United Nations. The resolution is expected to pass.

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