(photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday night said that the United States has the power to stop the Palestinians from taking their bid for a state to the United Nations in September. His comments came in an interview with the Lebanese television station LBC.
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"I don't know if the United States has other options," he said, "but if they put them in our hands, we will not go to the UN," he said.
During the interview, Abbas said he believed that of the 192 voting nations in the UN, 116 are currently ready to recognize a Palestinian state. However, he said, if the United States was able to bring a return to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, the bid could possibly be reconsidered.
Referring to the current deadlock that has prevented the very
negotiations he said he aspires to, Abbas listed borders and security as
the two major sticking points. Above all, however, was the status of
Jerusalem, an issue about which Abbas appeared intractable.
"If Jerusalem will not be the capital of Palestine," he said, "there will be no state at all."
Abbas said he only met with Netanyahu three times in the past two years,
which amounted to only about fifteen hours of direct conversation
between the two men. He also told LBC that he did not plan for a third
term as Palestinian Authority president when expected elections are held
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As for the possibility of a third Intifada should both negotiations and
the UN bid fail, Abbas dismissed the idea. "Armed struggle is destroying
us," he said of the Palestinians.
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