Abbas: We will delay UN statehood bid if talks progress

In meeting with visiting J Street delegation, PA president says his preference is for a peace process, not unilateral declaration.

mahmoud abbas_311 (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
mahmoud abbas_311
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said that he would postpone a UN vote on unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state scheduled for September if he saw that the diplomatic process with Israel was progressing, Army Radio reported. Abbas made the comments during a meeting with members of J Street.
"If progress was recorded in negotiations, September would become a meaningless deadline because our preference is a peace process," Abbas said.
RELATED:'Abbas likely to reappoint Fayyad to head interim gov't'UK, France lay red lines on terms for Palestinian state
The J Street delegation which arrived in Israel this week was scheduled to meet with several other politicians in addition to Abbas, including President Shimon Peres, Deputy Prime Minister Dan Meridor, Opposition leader Tzipi Livni and Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad.
The delegation consists of 25 board members and donors, led by J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami.
“Ahead of the unilateral declaration at the UN on recognition of a Palestinian state this coming September, we find ourselves in a race against time to reach an agreement,” said Ben-Ami. “As Americans  deeply committed to Israel’s  security as a democracy and a Jewish homeland, we bring with us a sense of great urgency in calling on all parties to the conflict  to take immediate steps to advance the peace process, and we stand determined to do our part in seeing a two-state solution achieved.”