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Abbas: PA irrelevant without state

Oct. 9, 2010 8:39 A.M. (Updated: Oct. 10, 2010 12:36 P.M.)
SIRTE, Libya (Ma’an) – President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday evening in Libya called into question the need for “the Palestinian Authority's continued existence if the efforts to establish an independent Palestinian state fail.”

An official who attended the Arab League meeting in Sirte told Agence France-Presse that Abbas suggested several ways to establish a state if negotiations with Israel failed to lead to an agreement on statehood.

One option is for the US to recognize a state in the territories occupied in 1967. Another is for the UN Security Council or General Assembly to recognize a state or to put the territories under international custody.

“What is the PA needed for if all these alternatives fail?” Abbas said according to the unidentified official.

Abbas arrived Thursday ahead of meetings with the Arab League follow-up committee, at which he was expected to announce whether he would remain in negotiations. Arab heads of state were to meet Saturday.

At the emergency meeting, ministers said they would give the US one month to resolve the crisis in negotiations to avoid a total collapse of the peace process.

Peace talks, relaunched in Washington on 2 September, reached a deadlock when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refused to extend restrictions on settlement construction on Palestinian land.

Abbas said he would walk out of talks over the issue.

Attempts by US envoy George Mitchell to overcome the impasse have so far failed, despite a series of meetings with Israeli, Palestinian and regional leaders.

Arab League chief Amr Moussa blamed the "very, very negative" Israeli stance for the deadlock.
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