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Sarkozy Asks Abbas to Seek Vatican-Like Status, Le Monde Says
French President Nicolas Sarkozy proposed to Palestinian leaders that they seek a United Nations status similar to the Vatican’s, rather than push for full membership, Le Monde reported, citing diplomatic sources.
Under Sarkozy’s plan, members of the so-called “quartet” would offer various incentives, such as announcing more favorable starting points for direct negotiations with Israel, the Paris-based daily said.
The French want to avoid a vote in the Security Council, which is the only avenue to full membership. Sarkozy believes it would be hypocritical to deny Palestinian aspirations while claiming to support democracy movements across the Arab world, and also wants to avoid a clash with the U.S., which has said it will veto Palestinians’ application, Le Monde said.
Sarkozy met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas yesterday in New York. Abbas has said he wants to seek full membership through the Security Council, rather than settle for lesser status from the General Assembly, where the Americans don’t hold veto power.
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