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Abbas: I won't run for president again

May 12, 2011 3:00 A.M. (Updated: May 12, 2011 3:08 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Tuesday that he would not run for president again, telling the PLO leadership in Ramallah that he was "serious" about his decision.

"I have said in the past that I have no intention of running in the presidential election. I was serious about it then and let me repeat myself here: I will not run for president again," Abbas said.

Abbas also said he was serious about the reconciliation deal with Hamas despite doubts.

"We've heard vague talk that we're not serious, but it has been made clear beyond a shadow of a doubt that we were serious from the first moment upon signing and afterwards," Abbas told the party's executive committee.

"This is not a ploy or game; we don't gamble with the fate of our people, and the same applies to the other issue - our plan to go to the UN," Abbas continued.

"We're serious about every word because we are not playing games. These are issues central to the fate of our people and we intend to achieve the plan we set into motion."

He also noted the murders of two pro-Palestinian activists, allegedly by palestinians.

Abbas sent a delegation to Italy to meet the parents of Vittorio Arrigoni and another to see the family of Juliano Mer-Khamis "but there is nothing we can do to compensate them. We have decided to consider Juliano and Vittorio martyrs for the Palestinian people and grant them the highest honors."
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