Abbas: World not united in support of Palestinian UN bid

PA president acknowledges int'l pressure to abandon UN statehood effort; calls on Quartet members to endorse “clear and balanced” stance.

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July 2, 2011 18:41
2 minute read.
PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting

PA President Abbas at PLO Executive meeting 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman)

 
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Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas acknowledged on Saturday that he was facing pressure to abandon his plan to ask the United Nations in September to recognize a Palestinian state along the pre-1967 lines.

“Undoubtedly, the world is not united in supporting the Palestinian step,” Abbas told the PA’s Voice of Palestine radio station. “But we have delegations that will go to many countries – from Canada to Japan – to explain our policy at the UN.”

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Abbas said that Arab League foreign ministers are scheduled to hold a meeting on July 12 to discuss the PA’s statehood bid.

He also called on the Quartet members – the US, EU, UN and Russia – to endorse a “clear and balanced” stance regarding the peace process during its meeting later this month.

Abbas demanded that the Quartet call for a full cessation of settlement construction and recognition of the 1967 lines as the basis for a two-state solution.

He added that the PA’s top priority remains returning to the negotiating table with Israel. But, he said, “If the negotiations fail, the Palestinians will proceed with plans to achieve an independent state on the 1967 borders with east Jerusalem as its capital.”

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Abbas pointed out that some 117 countries have already recognized the Palestinian state. He predicted that by September the number would rise to 130.

“This means that the number of countries that would recognize Palestine would be more than those that recognize Israel,” he added. “Therefore we ask those who are opposed to our plan, what should we do and how could we achieve a state?” With respect to the Egyptian- brokered reconciliation accord between Hamas and Fatah, Abbas denied that it has reached a deadlock.

He expressed regret over Hamas’s failure to understand that the government that the two sides agreed to establish would be a technocratic one, and not a national unity government.

He said that neither Hamas nor any other party has the right to decide who would join the new government.

Abbas said that current PA Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was the most suitable man to head the new government, when and if it’s established.

Abbas said he called off a planned meeting with Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Cairo a few weeks ago because of Hamas’s refusal to accept Fayyad and other ministers.

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