U.N. Chief Says Palestinian Statehood 'Long Overdue'

The Palestinian people are “long overdue” in their quest for an independent state, United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said on Friday, ahead of a Palestinian push for statehood in the UN planned for later this month.

Ban’s comments came a day after Palestinian activists launched a campaign for the recognition of a Palestinian state in the United Nations. The move contradicts earlier reports that the Palestinian Authority was the one who issued the request.

In a letter addressed to Ban’s Ramallah office, Palestinian activists urged the leader of the international community to “exert all possible efforts toward the achievement of the Palestinian people’s just demands.”

Speaking on Friday, the UN chief was quoted by the French news agency AFP as saying he fully supported Palestinian statehood: “The two state vision where Israel and Palestinians can live… side by side in peace and security – that is a still a valid vision and I fully support it.”

“And I support also the statehood of Palestinians; an independent, sovereign state of Palestine. It has been long overdue,” Ban told reporters in Canberra, adding that a “recognition of a state is something to be determined by the member states.”

For more, go to Haaretz.com

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U.N. Chief Says Palestinian Statehood 'Long Overdue'

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