Abbas denies PA-Jordan split on UN state bid stance

PA president tells Jordanian paper that the 2 sides have coordinated their position on issue; German FM in Ramallah to meet with PA leader.

September 11, 2011 10:11
2 minute read.
PA President Mahmoud Abbas at the United Nations

Abbas 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday denied reports that there was any disagreement between Jordan and the Palestinian leadership with regard to the PA's plan to ask the United Nations to recognize a Palestinian state on September 20.

In an interview with Jordanian newspaper al-Rai, Abbas said that the two sides had coordinated their position on the issue. Abbas was set to meet with German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle in Ramallah on Sunday to discuss the UN statehood bid.

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Saudi Arabian newspaper Al-Madina reported two weeks ago that Jordan's King Abdullah II advised  Abbas to reconsider the Palestinian statehood bid.

King Abdullah, after consulting with a team of international lawyers, explained to Abbas that declaring a state in Palestine would possibly result in the loss of the "right of return" for Palestinian refugees, according to the report. He therefore asked him to reconsider his plan to bring statehood to a vote at the UN.

The Palestinians will continue to demand the right of return for millions of refugees to their original homes inside Israel even after the UN recognizes a Palestinian state along the June 4, 1967, lines, Abbas said on Sunday.

Responding to legal experts’ claims that a Palestinian state could affect the status of the PLO as the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinians, Abbas told the Jordanian newspaper Ad-Dustour: “The PLO represents all the Palestinians, not only those in the Palestinian territories and whose number is estimated at 4 million. The PLO represents all 8 million Palestinians in the world.”

He said that the PLO would continue to function until all Palestinian issues were resolved, including the case of the refugees. The PA, he added, is part of the PLO and not a separate body.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.

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