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Updated: December 31, 2010 14:49 IST

Palestinian leader seeks U.S. backing in UN proposal

AP
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. File photo: AP.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. File photo: AP.

The Palestinian president said a new attempt by the Palestinians to get the United Nations to condemn Israeli settlements was specifically designed to win U.S. support.

As part of a new emphasis on winning international support for their cause, the Palestinians have drafted a proposal and are lobbying for a Security Council resolution that would declare West Bank settlements illegal and an “obstacle to peace.”

The U.S. has said it doesn’t support the move, but it remains unclear if it will veto the measure or abstain should the draft come to a vote. Israel says it is an attempt by the Palestinians to avoid negotiations.

Speaking on Thursday to Palestinian expatriates and Arab ambassadors in Brazilia, Brazil, President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian draft used language similar to that used by U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who has criticized settlements.

“We drafted it using the same words that Secretary Clinton is using and so we don’t see why the U.S. would veto it,” Mr. Abbas said.

Brazil, along with several other South American countries, recently recognized the yet-nonexistent state of Palestine.

With peace talks at an impasse, the Palestinians are increasingly trying to win international recognition of their state, which they hope will put bring more pressure to bear on Israel.

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