Sarkozy Urges U.N. to Admit Palestine as Non-Member State


French President Nicolas Sarkozy called Wednesday on the United Nations to admit Palestine as a non-member state, upgrading its status as simple observer but opposing a Palestinian bid for full membership.

In a speech to the U.N. General Assembly, Sarkozy also called for "one year to reach a definitive agreement" between Israel and the Palestinians, saying the usual U.S.-led peace process should not bypass European, Arab or other countries.

Aiming to avoid a showdown, Sarkozy sought a middle road between the Palestinian plan to ask the U.N. Security Council to admit Palestine as a full state and the U.S. determination to block the effort with a veto, which he warned would be dangerous.

"Each of us knows that Palestine cannot immediately obtain full and complete recognition of the status of United Nations member state. The first reason for this is the lack of trust between the main parties," Sarkozy said.

"But who could doubt that a veto at the Security Council risks engendering a cycle of violence in the Middle East?" the French leader said.

"Must we therefore exclude an intermediate stage? Why not envisage offering Palestine the status of United Nations observer state? This would be an important step forward," Sarkozy said.

"Most important, it would mean emerging from a state of immobility that favors only the extremists. We would be restoring hope by marking progress towards the final status."

Under U.N. rules, any bid for full membership requires a recommendation from the Security Council and then a two-thirds majority in the 193-member General Assembly.

Non-member status would require only a straight majority in the General Assembly where no veto is possible.

It would also give the Palestinians access to international organizations like the World Health Organization and perhaps the International Criminal Court.

However, Sarkozy appeared to urge the Palestinians not to pursue Israel in the court when he said "they could commit to avoid using this new status to undertake actions incompatible with the continuance of negotiations."

Sarkozy also called for greater involvement of the international community in the peace process, suggesting the process led by the United States, the top ally of Israel, was leading nowhere.

He appeared to suggest that the role of the Diplomatic Quartet on the Middle East -- composed of the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations -- was not enough to find a peaceful settlement.

"Let us stop believing that a single country or a small group of countries can resolve so complex a problem. Too many crucial players have been sidelined for our efforts to succeed," he said.

"After so many failures, who still believes that the peace process can succeed without Europe?" he posed.

"Who still believes that it can succeed without the involvement of all the permanent members of the Security Council?" he asked, referring to the United States, Russia, China, France and Britain.

"Who still believes that it can succeed without the involvement of the Arab states that have already chosen peace?" he continued.

"Who does not see that a collective approach is now indispensable to create trust and offer real guarantees to each of the parties?"

The French leader also called for a timeline to restart negotiations, which stalled weeks after they were relaunched by President Barack Obama's administration in September last year.

"One month to resume discussion, six months to find an agreement on borders and security; and one year to reach a definitive agreement," he said.

Like the Obama administration, he said negotiations should lead to two states, including a Palestinian nation based on the boundaries that existed before the 1967 war but with agreed land swaps to account for Jewish settlements.

Comments 7
Default-user-icon MUSTAPHA O. GHALAYINI (Guest) over 8 years

it is not about borders and security mr sarkozy
the main issue is the right of return.PERIOD.

Thumb ado.australia over 8 years

Sarkozy, why waste what ever respect you have allowed France to have left? President De Gualle would be turning in his grave after what you have done to the republic's reputation on the international scene. Why shouldn't Palestine be reconized? Shame on you.

Default-user-icon amirmansour (Guest) over 8 years

Mustapha ( Bu Steve )

Law of Return:
Very Vague Issue.....
Law of return of the Jews to ongoing issue...never stop as long as they get free housing loan and free land they will keep collecting few Jews from USA and other places , for so called religious reasons , and send them to Israel.....Like vacation home instead of going to Florida.

Law of return of Palestinians.......Big issue:
who and from where will they return and where will they go?
Would the Palestinians of Gaza and West Bank receive them....?
How many would return....unless they use the return to get compensation ( which has never been discussed so far....but will be later )

Would the residents ( refugees ) , Inhabitants ....of Ain Helwi, Baddawi...etc really want to return or they are ready for compensation ???? or where would they go.....

May be there is a solution in the future centuries to come.

Now the main issue to solve is get the Palestine State established internationally and in non violent way.

Default-user-icon John from Koura (Guest) over 8 years

Yes, negotiate for another 20 years while the racist, ethnic cleansing, terrorist Apartheid state builds more colonial settlements. France and every blood thirsty racist Western colonial state should be given a "non-member" status.

Thumb benzona over 8 years

Sarko is on his way out of the Elysée... His POV is biased because he's jewish... so, his opinion doesn't really matter.

Default-user-icon John from Koura (Guest) over 8 years

What happened to my comments 2 hours ago Naharnet? Was I too harsh on France who you worship? .

Default-user-icon Elias Khoury (Guest) over 8 years

It doesnt matter if the UN recognizes this mini version of palestine or not because israels years still will be numbered. It doesnt matter what the bankrupt leaders of the world do or how much they continue to decieve people. Israel will enter the trash can of history. People will read about it in textbooks under the title zionist colonialization right after reading about the british and french colonialization. Palestine will become a state on all its land in a not so far away future.