PA officials express regret, anger over Obama UN speech

Some in Palestinian leadership describe US president's speech as a "stab in the back"; vow to go ahead with statehood bid despite opposition.

By
September 21, 2011 20:14
1 minute read.
PA President Abbas speaking ahead of trip to UN

PA President Mahmoud Abbas 311 (R). (photo credit: REUTERS/Darren Whiteside)

 
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NEW YORK – Palestinian Authority officials expressed deep regret and anger over US President Barack Obama’s speech at the UN on Wednesday and reiterated the PA’s position for agreeing to the resumption of peace talks with Israel.

They said that despite Obama’s opposition, the PA would go ahead with its plan to submit a request for full membership of a Palestinian state to the Security Council on Thursday.

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Some of the PA officials described Obama’s speech as a “stab in the back” to the Palestinians.

“We are ready to return to the negotiations as soon as Israel agrees to stop construction in the settlements and accepts the 1967 borders as the reference for the peace talks,” Nabil Abu Rudaineh, a spokesman for PA President Mahmoud Abbas said in response to Obama’s speech.

But while Abbas’s spokesman was careful not to criticize Obama in public, other members of the PA delegation accompanying the PA president to New York strongly condemned the US Administration’s stance toward the statehood bid.

One official told The Jerusalem Post that Obama “has in fact endorsed [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu’s policy.”

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The Palestinians don’t consider Obama a friend and today he once again proved that he is afraid of Netanyahu and the Jewish lobby, the official said.

Another official said that Abbas was “very disappointed” by Obama’s speech. “President Abbas said he can’t understand why Obama has changed his position regarding a Palestinian state,” he told the Post. “After all, it was President Obama himself who said in last year’s address to the UN that an independent and sovereign Palestinian state would be established by the next UN meeting this year.”

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