By Lamia Lahoud
UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan is prepared to send UN observers to the Palestinian areas once a peace deal has been signed between Israel and the Palestinians, Palestinian Minister for Planning and International Cooperation Nabil Shaath said Saturday.
Until an agreement has been reached with the UN, Shaath would not say where the troops would be stationed. But Palestinian officials have told The Jerusalem Post in the past that they want international observers along the future Palestinian-Israeli border, the safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank, and international border passages.
Shaath said Annan made the promise to dispatch UN observers to the Palestinian areas during a meeting with Shaath at the United Nations last week. UN officials could not be reached for comment.
A well-informed Palestinian source said that, contrary to official statements, Shaath and Annan also discussed the issue of full Palestinian membership in the United Nations.
The Palestinian Central Council, which met last week in Gaza, decided to gradually start implementing statehood on the ground, although they delayed the actual declaration of statehood. One of the measures they decided to take was to ask for full UN membership for Palestine.
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