Arab League Backs Bid For UN Nod To Palestine

Palestinian officials say the Arab League backs their plan to ask the U.N. General Assembly to recognize a state of Palestine in the West Bank, Gaza and east Jerusalem.

Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat says no date for such a step was set in Sunday's Arab League meeting in Doha. Instead, a committee is to prepare a U.N. appeal and report back to the Arab League on Sept. 5.

Timing is crucial, with a U.N. bid before November potentially disrupting the U.S. presidential race.

The U.S. opposes the quest for unilateral recognition. It says a Palestinian state must be set up in negotiations with Israel. Talks broke off in 2008, and the two sides disagree on how to restart them.

The General Assembly can only give "Palestine" non-member observer state status.

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