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.
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