000_Par78411691-e1396381750624-635x357Contrary to an assertion by US Secretary of State John Kerry, the 15 international treaties and conventions to which Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas applied for membership on Tuesday do include groups affiliated to the United Nations.  At a televised ceremony on Tuesday evening, Abbas signed letters seeking accession to the UN Convention against Corruption, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties, The International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid, The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, and other UN treaties. He indicated that he anticipated that membership would be smoothly granted. On Wednesday morning, Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki handed the letters to UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Robert Serry and to representatives from Switzerland and the Netherlands. More