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Six members of The Elders today met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in New York, to discuss the Palestinians' initiative to bring their case for statehood to the United Nations.
The delegation comprises Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Chair of The Elders, former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari, former Algerian Foreign Minister Lakhdar Brahimi, former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland, former US President Jimmy Carter and former Irish President Mary Robinson.
The Elders have consistently called for a fresh approach to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, based on international law and respect for human rights. They believe that UN endorsement of the Palestinians' right to statehood could change the dynamics of future negotiations with Israel in a positive direction.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu said: “The Palestinian people have a right to statehood and the UN is the legitimate forum to address the issue. Almost 64 years after Resolution 181 divided the former British Mandate territory between two states – Israel and Palestine – it is high time that this unfinished business is completed.”