Palestine will continue to seek a full membership in the UN in spite of the U.S. veto which seems even more inevitable under the current administration, Nabil Shaath, the foreign affairs adviser of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said.
He told Sputnik: “I have just arrived from Japan. The Japanese membership was vetoed five times at the Security Council, mostly by the Soviet Union at the time.
“Today the only user of the veto is the U. S. And they have no right to veto our full membership.
“Now that the General Assembly has accepted with a major majority that we are a state and we have the right to membership.
“The General Assembly cannot award us full membership … We will keep trying and let the U.S. veto it two-three more times.
“Maybe the world will get tired of Americans vetoing our membership,” Shaath said.
In 2012, the UN granted Palestine a non-member observer state status within the UN General Assembly.
Over the decades, Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip.
The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in occupied areas, in spite of objections from the UN.
The State of Palestine is recognided by most states outside of Europe and North America, totaling over 190 countries.
He said Palestine will continue its contacts with the U. S., but rules out a political dialogue after Washington recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Shaath said: “so far there is really very little contact. After all we have a mission in Washington which the Americans threatened to close but did not close.
“So it is still operative. The Consul of America in Jerusalem has really one duty – to represent America with the Palestinians because the relationship between the America and Israel is conducted by the Embassy in Tel Aviv.”
Shaath said that the Palestinian side ruled out any political dialogue with the U.S.
“There is no political dialogue. There are matters that continue to work – visas, and trade, and many aspects did not stop.
“We did not cut our relationship with the U.S. But there is no political dialogue.
“We reject completely and totally the Trump’s statements about Jerusalem and the Trump’s attempt to eliminate Jerusalem and the refugees from the negotiation table, and the Trump’s attempts to cut down the aid to the UN organisation that deals with the Palestinian refugees.
“We are against all of that,” Shaath explained.
On December 6, 2017, President Donald Trump announced his decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the U.S. State Department to launch the process of moving the U.S. Embassy, currently located in Tel Aviv, to Jerusalem.
The step has prompted criticism from a number of states, first and foremost those in the Middle East and Palestine, and triggered a wave of protests in the region.