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Deal in Works to Prevent US-Palestine UN Showdown

Mahmoud Abbas would submit a letter, but not force a vote
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 20, 2011 7:48 AM CDT
Deal in Works to Prevent US-Palestine UN Showdown
Palestinians applaud in front of a symbolic chair supporting the Palestinian statehood bid in the West Bank city of Ramallah, unveiled Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2011.   (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

(Newser) – The international community is hammering out a deal that would spare the US from having to veto Palestine’s move for statehood. There are several ideas floating about, but all revolve around the premise that Mahmoud Abbas would deliver a letter to the Security Council requesting statehood, but would not actually force a vote, US, European, Israeli and Palestinian diplomats tell CNN. “We don’t need to see a vote right away,” one Palestinian diplomat said.

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"It actually is a good idea because it is like a Damocles hanging over our heads," said one US official. "It creates an urgency to start negotiations." The letter would come accompanied by a statement from the Mideast Quartet—that's the UN, EU, US, and Russia—outlining the terms of new peace talks, with familiar conditions like a return to 1967 borders. Abbas would also likely petition the general assembly for “observer state” status, allowing Palestine to take legal action against Israel. (Read more Palestinian statehood stories.)

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