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Top Israeli officials dispatched to plead world to derail Palestinian statehood bid: report

08-16-2011 09:38 BJT

JERUSALEM, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dispatched members of his cabinet to personally hand letters to foreign heads of states urging them to vote against a bid by the Palestinians to secure recognition of a state at the United Nations in September.

Some 40 international leaders - in Asia, Africa and Latin America - received a letter signed by Netanyahu, which underscores Israel's position that a unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood would undermine the peace process, the Yedioth Aharonot daily reported Monday.

Netanyahu tasked his ministers with delivering the letters, in a bid to show their recipients the importance that Israel attaches to September's vote at the UN General Assembly, the newspaper reported.

Deputy Prime Minister Moshe Ya'alon, a former chief of the Israeli military, handed the letter to the leaders of Peru and Brazil during recent visits to those countries, while Minister of Intelligence and Atomic Energy Dan Meridor delivered copies to his hosts in Mexico and Jamaica.

Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer handed the appeal to the Ivory Coast's newly-appointed President Alassane Ouattara, reportedly a close friend of Fischer, during his recent visit to the country.

The letters were phrased according to the nature of the diplomatic ties Israel individually maintains with their recipient.

"Ahead of the UN General Assembly's September session I ask you to object to a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state... Regardless of the path the Palestinians will choose, their appeal to the UN attempts to avoid negotiations based on mutual compromises and breaches the existing agreements between Israel and the Palestinian National Authority," read one letter obtained by Yedioth Aharonot.

The letters are only part of an intensive international diplomatic campaign spearheaded by Israel's Foreign Ministry ahead of September.

Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman and his deputy, Danny Ayalon, as well as diplomats travelling abroad are engaged in efforts to win the hearts and minds of foreign statesmen, lawmakers, ambassadors and public opinion shapers, the report said.

Editor:Wang Xiaomei |Source: Xinhua

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