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Abbas begins European tour to garner support for UN bid

July 16, 2011 10:50 A.M. (Updated: July 17, 2011 11:11 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will embark on a European tour Saturday to garner international support for the Palestinian statehood bid at the United Nations General Assembly in September.

Abbas will visit Norway, Spain and Turkey, a Palestinian official said.

The tour comes as a recent Middle East Quartet meeting failed to produce a coherent formula for restarting negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

“Abbas will head to Istanbul on July 22 for a meeting with Palestinian ambassadors. The meeting is to be held for the first time, and is scheduled to discuss how to recruit international support for statehood,” Italian news agency AKI reported.

The Palestinian president's tour comes amid a recent decision by the Arab League to submit a request to the UN for recognition of a Palestinian state.

Israel and the United States adamantly oppose the Palestinian bid.

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