German Foreign Minister to Meet with Abbas in Ramallah
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is set to meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in a last-ditch effort to convince Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas that the PA's upcoming bid for United Nations recognition as a new Arab country, and acceptance as a member into its ranks, is a bad idea.
The U.N. opens the General Assembly on September 20, with Abbas scheduled to address the gathering on September 22, the last day of the first of two sessions. Germany has already said it will vote against the resolution.
Westerwelle spokesman Andreas Peschke said at a briefing Sunday morning the German foreign minister would "again touch on the possible ways and means to restart direct talks" during his visit to Ramallah. "What the Palestinians are going to present is not all that clear yet," he added, "because they have not yet completed their internal discussions."
Westerwelle is expected to meet with Jordan's King Abdullah II on Monday, before returning to meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
Despite its desire to achieve statehood, the PA has not yet managed to attain unity even within its own ranks. The Abbas government controls only the PA-ruled regions of Judea and Samaria; the Hamas terrorist organization wrested control of Gaza from Abbas' Fatah faction in a bloody milita war that ended in June 2007.
But control over Gaza is no longer entirely in the hands of Hamas either. Since that time, the terrorist organization has found itself fighting for its life with the mushrooming Salafist Islamic movement linked to the global jihad organization backed by Al Qaeda.
The United States, a permanent member of the U.N. Security Council, has confirmed that it will exercise its veto to block any move by the PA to become a full voting member state of the international body.