President Mahmoud Abbas says the Palestinian flag flying over the headquarters of the UN’s cultural agency in Paris bodes well for Palestine becoming a member of other institutions.
9:49PM GMT 13 Dec 2011
The Unesco vote was a diplomatic victory for President Abbas, who in the absence of peace talks has pushed for recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations, a move opposed by Israel and the United States.
Peace talks froze a year ago in a dispute over the building of Jewish settlements in territory Israel captured in a 1967 war, which Palestinians seek for a state.
Since the Unesco vote, Israel has pressed ahead with new settlements. The Palestinians have refused repeated Israeli calls to renew the talks unless Israel stops building settlements on West Bank land Palestinians want for a state.
Envoys of the so-called Quartet of the European Union, United States, Russia and the United Nations travel to Jerusalem on Wednesday to try to break the deadlock.
President Abbas, who has requested a United Nations Security Council vote on a resolution recognising a Palestinian state, even though it is destined to fail, will also meet French president Nicolas Sarkozy later on Tuesday.
President Sarkozy has called for Palestinian President to take an alternative route by asking the UN General Assembly to upgrade Palestine’s UN status short of full membership.