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Palestinians win more support for UN upgrade bid

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met two senior US officials last night to discuss his controversial bid for elevated UN recognition, diplomats said.
Abbas held talks with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns and US Middle East envoy David Hill at his hotel, diplomats said.
“They had talks on the Palestinian application for membership, the US position on this is well known,” a western official told AFP.
Abbas will today put the Palestinian claim for elevated status to the 193-member UN General Assembly where he is certain to get an emphatic majority.
More European states joined France in backing the Palestinian bid but Britain held back, saying it wanted an assurance that the Palestinians would not pursue Israel through the International Criminal Court.
Germany said it would not support the diplomatic upgrade for the Palestinians at the UN.
Granting Palestinians the title of “observer state” short of full UN representation could allow them access to the court and some other international bodies.
President Abbas is leading the campaign and several European governments are eager to give him their support after an eight-day conflict this month.
Abbas has pledged to relaunch the peace process immediately following the UN vote, the Swiss Foreign Ministry said as it gave its backing for fuller Palestinian statehood.
With overwhelming support from the developing world, the Palestinians appear certain to earn approval in the 193-member UN General Assembly for the status upgrade today.

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