The hot issue of this year's UN general assembly is definitely Palestine's intention to request recognition of its statehood from the international body, but a new plan being pushed by the United Nations, United States, European Union and Russia would delay a UN vote on the issue after Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas submits the request. The idea is to forestall a confrontation with the United States, which has said it will veto the request. The Guardian has this summary of the proposal:
Diplomats said the proposed compromise would see Abbas submit his letter to the security council, which would then defer action. In parallel, the Quartet would issue the framework for renewed negotiations that would include a timeline for the birth of a Palestinian state.
The deal is intended to permit Abbas to follow through on his commitment to Palestinians to seek recognition for an independent state at the security council, a pledge he could not abandon entirely without considerable damage to his already battered leadership.
The plan would allow Abbas to follow through on his pledge to raise the statehood issue and to break the longstanding UN gridlock over the question, but there are still plenty of details--such as the ongoing construction of Israeli settlements--still to be answered. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Barack Obama have meetings planned with Abbas, and the negotiations are expected to go down to the wire before Friday, when Abbas plans to submit the request, The Guardian reports. It's certainly going to add some high drama to the international diplomatic get-together in New York this week.