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Good Reads: Is the Palestinians' quest for statehood doomed? (video)

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Later this week, he will formally present his bid for statehood to the UN Security Council, after a year in which bilateral discussions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have largely ground to a halt. The US, a permanent UN Security Council member, is strongly opposed to the idea and has vowed to veto a vote on accepting Palestine as a sovereign member of the world body.

The French newspaper Le Monde – ever fascinated with the world of diplomacy – casts its gaze behind the closed doors, where it reports that Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak met in New York on Sunday to see if they could put the Middle East peace process back on track. Diplomats from the US, Europe, Russia, and the UN also were engaged in meetings, but the gap is pretty wide now. Mr. Fayyad told reporters that he and his counterpart had discussed security matters, and the Palestinian Authority's “aptitude for governance.” Mr. Barak didn’t talk with the press after the meeting with Fayyad.

In an opinion piece in The Hindu, a leading paper in India, Chinmaya Gharekhan suggests that Abbas is likely to aim for a rather modest goal being admitted as "a non-voting non-member state status for Palestine, such as the one enjoyed by the Vatican. This would enable them to obtain membership in the specialised agencies of the U.N., which would be a huge political gain."

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