World Bulletin / News Desk
The United Nations is likely to hold a debate on whether to upgrade the Palestinians' U.N. status to a sovereign country in mid-November - after the U.S. election, the president of the 193-member U.N. General Assembly said on Wednesday.
Having failed last year to win recognition of full statehood at the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said last week he would seek a less-ambitious status upgrade at the world body to make it a "non-member state" like the Vatican.
The Palestinians' current U.N. status is an "observer entity." If Abbas wins, that would change to "observer state."
"Come the middle of November, there's going to be an international debate on the Palestine issue in the General Assembly," U.N. General Assembly President Vuk Jeremic told a news conference.
"There are electoral and political calendars in many parts of the world," he said in a reference covering the Nov. 6 U.S. election.
"My understanding is the Palestinian Authority leadership is going to engage in extensive discussions ... coming to a conclusion as to what they want to do some time in November."
Being registered as a state rather than an entity would mean the Palestinians could join bodies such as the International Criminal Court and file a raft of complaints against Israel for its continued occupation.
EU leaders agreed last week to increase sanctions against President Bashar al-Assad's regime, citing devastating attacks on Syria's second city of Aleppo.
"I strongly believe it is absolutely possible to strengthen European defence without duplicating efforts by NATO," alliance chief Jens Stoltenberg said.
12 people were killed Tuesday after al-Shabaab militants carried out attack in Mandera near Kenyan-Somali border
Head of Kurdish Regional Government says ‘only Iraqi counter-terrorism forces’ will enter Mosul once ISIL is defeated
25 militants killed in western Anbar province while another 5 are killed near Kirkuk, local military sources say
Jobless rate drops below 20 percent for first time in 6 years, despite Spain lacking agreed government for last 10 months
The airlines, owned by flag carrier Lufthansa, are locked in disputes with the Ufo flight attendants union.
Stoltenberg said NATO had just launched its own Operation Sea Guardian in the Mediterranean to help support Operation Sophia.
Belgium has effectively blocked the deal, which must be endorsed by all 28 EU member states.
No casualties reported from quake, which was felt as far away as Rome
The incident takes place Tuesday in Qalqilya, northern West bank
Consultative meetings also due next week on forming a government of reconciliation in Libya
'There are no more migrants in the camp.' says Pas-de-Calais prefect Fabienne Buccio
At least 3,800 people have died, making 2016 the deadliest ever, says UNHCR spokesman
In Kenya, Rockefeller Foundation panel says 1/3 of food never makes if from farm to table
Iraqi army, meanwhile, captures strategic oilfield northeast of ISIL-held city