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Abbas to Clinton: UN statehood bid to move forward
By KHALED ABU TOAMEH
11/21/2012
PA president rejects US' request to refrain from asking the UN to upgrade the status of a Palestinian state to non-member.
 
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday rejected US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s request to refrain from asking the UN to upgrade the status of a Palestinian state to nonmember.

Abbas relayed his position to Clinton during a meeting in Ramallah.

At the meeting, Clinton reiterated Washington’s opposition to Abbas’s statehood bid, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat said.

“President Abbas told Clinton that we have taken a decision [to go to the UN],” Erekat said. “We are not interested in a confrontation with the US or any other country. We are practicing our right to establish a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

This will happen on November 29.”

Abbas and Clinton also discussed the current round of violence in the Gaza Strip.

Abbas assured Clinton that Hamas and other armed Palestinian groups are interested in reaching a cease-fire with Israel. Abbas cautioned that the Gaza Strip was facing a “real humanitarian crisis and massacre.”

Abbas also met in Ramallah with US Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and discussed with him the latest developments in the Gaza Strip.

The PA prime minister told reporters after the meeting that Israel was “fully responsible” for the current violence because of the killing of top Hamas operative Ahmed Jabari.

Earlier, scores of Palestinian activists demonstrated in Ramallah against Clinton’s visit to the city. The protesters shouted slogans condemning US support for Israel and burned American flags.

PA policemen prevented the demonstrators from marching toward Abbas’s office. They also tried to stop journalists and photographers from covering the protest.
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