World Week Ahead: Palestinian Statehood Bid; New Fighting in Yemen

BY News Desk  September 19, 2011 at 9:44 AM EDT


United Nations headquarters. Photo by Joao Araujo/U.N. via Flickr Creative Commons.

World leaders meet this week in New York City at the 66th session of the U.N. General Assembly, where Palestinian officials plan to file a bid for U.N. membership — a move Israel and the United States oppose.

UNITED NATIONS | Despite the opposition, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is intent on submitting a formal request for U.N. membership to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon after addressing the world summit on Friday. President Obama addresses the General Assembly two days prior — on Wednesday.

The Palestinian state would include the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem — land controlled by Israel since the 1967 Six Day War.

The Obama administration says authorizing the bid would bypass the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, so if the measure does go to a vote in the U.N. Security Council, the United States is expected to veto it.

We’ll have reports on the broadcast and online this week on the U.N. summit.

YEMEN | At least 50 people have been reported killed since Sunday night as government forces pushed back on protesters in Sanaa demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. According to Reuters, a mediator representing a group of Gulf Arab states is expected to arrive in Yemen Monday in the hopes of brokering a transition of power deal.

GREECE | Meanwhile, in Europe, international monitors this week are assessing whether Greece is meeting requirements to receive bailout payments aimed at preventing default on its loans.

During a late Sunday meeting with Cabinet members, Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos vowed to implement more budget-cutting measures, but he also lashed out at eurozone countries administering the bailout plan, saying: “We should not be the scapegoat or the easy excuse that will be used by European and international institutions in order to hide their own lack of competence to manage the crisis.”

IRAN | On Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivers his speech to the U.N. General Assembly. Ahead of his appearance, Ahmadinejad said two American hikers held in Iran for two years on charges of espionage would be released soon.

But on Sunday, a judge whose signature is needed for their release was said to be on vacation, causing a delay. Ahmadinejad had indicated he wanted to bring the two men with him to New York for the U.N. meeting.

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