Al-Azhar head urges UN members to vote for Palestinian state

Al-Azhar Grand Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayyeb urged world nations to vote in favor of a Palestinian state during the UN General Assembly vote scheduled for Friday.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will make a formal request for the recognition of a Palestinian state during the Friday meeting.

In a statement from his office Thursday, Tayyeb, who heads the highest religious institution in the Sunni Muslim world, said Al-Azhar is asking "free and honorable states" to stand by Palestinians.

Tayyeb renewed his call to oppose a US plan to veto the statehood request, appealing to Arab governments to pressure the United States and stand in the face of the "pro-Zionist US Administration."

He said Al-Azhar supports the Palestinians' fair demand, and emphasized his objection to the intended US veto.

The US and Israel oppose the Palestinian plan, and have said Palestinian-Israeli negotiations are the only path to statehood.

"If the UN is sincerely meant to protect people's rights, it will never hesitate to give Palestinians their rights. The denial of any of those rights damages the value of the organization," Tayyeb said in the statement, a copy of which was obtained by Al-Masry Al-Youm.

“Why deny the Palestinians the right to enjoy peace and stability as other nations do?” the statement read.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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