PA President Mahmoud Abbas arrives in Colombia 311 (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS/John Vizcaino)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said that if Israel
recognizes the right of Palestinians to a state and stops all settlement
activity in the West Bank and Jerusalem, "we will immediately go to
negotiations," Palestinian newspaper Al-Quds reported on Tuesday."We want to reach a political solution to help establish the state of Palestine alongside the State of Israel," Abbas added.
Abbas's statement came as Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said he would meet with the Palestinian president "anytime."
Sarkozy advocates Palestinian observer status at UN
EU's foreign ministers support call for immediate talks
was speaking at a political function in Colombia, during part a tour in
South America aimed at garnering support for the Palestinian bid for
full membership in the United Nations.
Palestinians, he said, do not want war and will not allow extremists or
radicals to bring about further violent conflict.
The Palestinians went to the United Nations, Abbas
explained, "to obtain membership in the global institution." He insisted that going to the UN does not contradict the negotiation framework laid
out in September of 2010.
Abbas was scheduled to meet with
Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Tuesday before departing for
Paris where he was schedule to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy to
discuss the Palestinian bid in the UN Security Council, PA Foreign
Minister Riad al-Malki said on Tuesday
according to AFP .
France is a permanent member of the Security Council.
PA negotiator Nabil Shaath on Monday expressed
optimism that the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations
Security Council would receive the backing of nine countries, which
would allow the resolution to pass if it is not vetoed by any permanent
member of the Security Council.
Shaath told Ma'an News
Agency that the nine countries include Gabon, Nigeria, Bosnia,
Brazil, India, Lebanon, South Africa, China and Russia.
The US has said it would veto the resolution on Palestine at the Security Council, a fact that Sarkozy has publicly acknowledged.
French president has said he supports granting the Palestinian
"observer status" at the UN, and sees this step as both intermediate and
important for a broader peace plan he announced at the UN General
Assembly last month.
Sarkozy has also called for Palestinians and Israelis to return to the negotiating table.