Abbas looks to UN Security Council for anti-Israel resolution

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said there is an "urgent" need for a United Nations Security Council resolution condemning Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria, in an interview with AFP ahead of a multi-country diplomatic tour.

"The Security Council is a very important subject because it has now become urgent due to settlement activities and because Israel has not stopped these activities," Abbas said, with the Palestinian Authority currently discussing a new draft resolution at the UN Security Council on the subject.

Abbas also criticized what he said was insufficient action from US President Barack Obama's administration, while at the same time he firmly backed a French initiative to hold an international peace conference this summer.

He spoke late Monday ahead of a tour beginning Tuesday that will take him to Turkey, France, Russia, Germany and New York.

The two-week tour may be among the last chances at renewing peace efforts for the 81-year-old leader.

Peace efforts have been at a complete standstill since a US initiative collapsed two years ago.

The United States has repeatedly vetoed resolutions opposed by Israel at the UN Security Council, but there has been speculation that Obama could change tack in the waning days of his administration.

In February, the French Foreign Ministry announced plans for a Middle East peace summit this summer. The ministry suggested that should the summit fail to produce an agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, France would unilaterally recognize Palestinian statehood.

France's new Foreign Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault backtracked on his predecessor's pledge to automatically recognize a Palestinian state if the peace summit fails.

Nevertheless, PA President Abbas has strongly endorsed the planned summit.

French senior officials have scheduled two high level meetings with Palestinian Authority leaders this month. French President Francois Hollande is set to meet Mahmoud Abbas in Paris on April 15th, while French Foreign Minister Ayrault travels to Ramallah later this month to meet with his counterpart, Riyad Al-Maliki.

AFP contributed to this report


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