Ban pressures UN to move on Palestinian state demand

GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – Ban Ki-moon, UN secretary-general, opened the UN General Assembly in New York Wednesday with a plea to resolve the Israeli-Palestine impasse, saying that while Israel needs security, Palestine needs statehood. The remarks were made in the presence of US President Obama and Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas.

The US insists that Palestinian membership in the UN can come only through a negotiated settlement and says it will use its veto to stop a bid for membership that Abbas says he will announce during a scheduled speech to the UN Friday.