RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) - The Palestinians will next month renew a bid to upgrade their status at the United Nations, their foreign minister said on Saturday, a move which could strengthen their statehood claims after talks with Israelstalled.
Palestinians are listed as a U.N. observer "entity" with no voting rights. They will ask to be made a non-member observer state at the U.N. General Assemblyon September 27, Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki told reporters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Such status, akin to the Vatican's, would be an indirect recognition of their claims on statehood in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip. It would allow them to join a number of U.N. agencies, as well as the International Criminal Court.
The Palestinians say Israeli settlement-building on occupied West Bank land has stymied prospects for a bilateral statehood deal. Disagreement over the issue led to negotiations stalling in 2010.
Malki said President Mahmoud Abbas would make the status request in a speech and the Palestinians would then lobby for support among U.N. member states, many of which are sympathetic to the campaign and regard the West Bank settlements as illegal.