World News Brief, Friday November 30

Palestinians set to win indirect UN statehood; China considers attending US military drill in the Pacific; South Korea's top nuclear envoy in China to discuss North Korea's missile launch plans; Kosovo's former leader cleared of war crimes; Chavez in Cuba for cancer treatment; and more

Top of the Agenda: Palestinians Set to Win UN Enhanced Status

Palestine is likely to secure indirect UN statehood recognition in a vote on Thursday that would change its UN observer status from an "entity" to a "non-member state," implicitly recognizing (Reuters) the sovereign state of Palestine. The vote could possibly result in Palestinian membership to the International Criminal Court, as well as other UN agencies. The vote is expected to pass easily in the 193-nation General Assembly, although Israel and the United States, which have consistently opposed the resolution, are expected to vote against it. Thousands of Palestinians gathered (AlJazeera) across the West Bank and Gaza to demonstrate support for the fresh attempt after a bid for full UN membership failed last fall when the United States announced it would veto the effort until there was a negotiated peace deal with Israel.


"Some are questioning what Palestine's oft-termed 'UN bid' represents. The enhancement of Palestine's status at the UN is our sovereign right, anchored in the spirit and letter of international law. Self-determination is an inalienable right, enshrined in the UN Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," writes Nabil Shaath for Haaretz

"After the United Nations vote, Abbas will presumably return to his West Bank headquarters where the realities will be exactly as he left them: Israel occupies all of Jerusalem and the majority of the West Bank. Nothing that happens in New York will have changed that. The Palestinians will have forfeited their 65-year long moral claim as that of a stateless people. Now, they will have a virtual state, but not one where it counts–on the ground," writes Robert Danin for CFR.

"Regardless of what the Palestinian president achieves on paper at the UN, when the celebrations are over he will have to revise a political strategy that has so far failed to translate the Palestinian dream of statehood into a reality on the ground," writes Barbara Plett for the BBC.



China to Consider Attending U.S. Military Drill

China's Defense Ministry said on Thursday it was considering a U.S. invitation to attend military drills (Reuters) in the Pacific following a visit from the U.S. navy secretary to Beijing. The invitation comes after U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta urged China in September to expand military relations with the United States.

SOUTH KOREA: South Korea's top nuclear envoy left for China Thursday for a two-day trip (Yonhap) to discuss North Korea's recent preparation for the launch of a long-range missile.

CFR's Scott Snyder discusses South Korea's launch and North Korea's satellite envy in this blog post.



Kosovo's former leader cleared of war crimes

Chavez in Cuba for cancer treatment


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