Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories, as he assumes the chairmanship of the largest bloc of countries at the United Nations.
The Group of 77, a coalition of 134 mainly developing countries and China, was founded in 1964. It initially had 77 members, but currently represents some 80 percent of the world’s population.
Abbas also stressed his commitment to a “peaceful solution” to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which “brings an end to the occupation and the realization of the independence of the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem [al-Quds] as its capital.”
Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki announced that Palestine is consulting with the UN Security Council member states about its membership bid despite the US threat to veto the measure.
In November 2012, the UN General Assembly upgraded Palestine’s status from “non-member observer entity” to “non-member observer state” despite strong opposition from Israel.