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      PA's UN Envoy Confident Statehood Bid will Pass

      PA envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, calls world powers to follow France and support the entity’s unilateral statehood bid.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 11/28/2012, 3:14 AM

      PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
      PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas
      AFP/File

      The Palestinian Authority’s envoy to the United Nations expressed confidence on Tuesday that the entity’s unilateral statehood bid would be approved by the UN General Assembly.

      The envoy, Riyad Mansour, urged other powers to follow France's example. Earlier, France indicated it would vote in favor of the PA bid for “non-member observer state”.

      "It is of a magnitude of a historic level and I am sure that many other European countries will follow the example of France and we thank them in advance for being on the side of history and the side of humanity," Mansour told reporters, according to AFP.

      While France has expressed support for the bid, Britain has not yet decided how it will vote, said the country's UN ambassador, Mark Lyall Grant.

      He told reporters that Britain believes the PA should delay the application, but is still in talks with the Palestinian Authority and will decide "in due time" how to vote.

      The Austrian foreign ministry also said Tuesday it would back the bid and claimed that more than half the European Union's 27 member states would vote for it, AFP reported.

      Diplomats have predicted that between 11 and 15 EU countries could back the proposal.

      PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas previously announced that the PA will present its bid for non-state UN membership on Thursday, November 29.

      This date was chosen on purpose, as it is the anniversary of the day in 1947 in which the United Nations voted in favor of the partition plan. The resolution recommended the creation of two states, one Arab, one Jewish and granted a small portion of the area, under the British Mandate, to the new Jewish state.

      The United States has expressed its opposition to the bid, and Abbas has responded with a direct ‘no’ when asked by President Barack Obama to reconsider the unilateral move.

      State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland reiterated her country’s opposition to the PA move on Tuesday.

      "We obviously disagree with our oldest ally (France) on this issue. They know that we disagree with them," Nuland said in Washington, according to I. "But it's their sovereign decision to make, how to proceed."

      Nuland told journalists that Washington is focused on the goal of "two states that can live peacefully next to each other".

      She added, "Nothing in this action at the UN is going to take the Palestinians any closer to that. If there is a vote, we will vote 'no'."