A Palestinian state can be created within two years, Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salaam Fayad said on Monday. Speaking in Abu Dis, Fayad called on his people to pull together and "roll up their sleeves" in order to make sure that all the institutions necessary for a state are in place "by the end of next year, or at the latest, in two years." The PA prime minister refused to back down from the Palestinian stance that there would be no peace negotiations with Israel until a West Bank settlement freeze. Fayad also called upon the world to exert pressure on Israel to cease settlement activity and stop the Gaza blockade. Last week in the US, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel's settlements were not an obstacle to achieving peace, adding that Israel was ready to engage in peace talks with the Palestinians without preconditions. Visiting New York after his trip to Washington DC, where he maintained Israel's opposition to a settlement freeze, Lieberman also downplayed the issue as a potential thorn in the relationship between Israel and the United States.