Obama and Abbas to Meet After All
President Barack Obama will meet with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday as part of the United States’ diplomatic efforts to avert a clash at the United Nations at the end of the week.
According to a report in The Associated Press, the White House announced the late addition to Obama’s schedule on Tuesday night.
Last week, the White House announced Obama would meet Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in New York, but said no talks are were planned for Obama and Abbas.
Meanwhile, Abbas is pressing ahead with his statehood bid at the UN despite intense U.S. efforts to forge a diplomatic solution that would avoid a vote in the UN Security Council.
Obama’s administration has pledged to veto the PA’s move but is hoping to convince Security Council member countries to vote against the bid, thus avoiding the need to use the U.S. veto power.
Earlier on Tuesday it was reported that several undecided Security Council member states are still thinking about how to vote. According to the report, joining the U.S. against the bid are Germany and Colombia, while China, India, Lebanon, Russia, and South Africa will vote in favor.
Defense Minister Ehud Barak has also convinced Nigeria to abstain in the vote, possibly clearing the way for the initiative to fail.
Gabon, which the PA previously claimed was in favor, said Tuesday that it was still considering the issue.