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Abbas reiterates plan to submit UN bid

Aug. 13, 2011 9:17 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 14, 2011 11:34 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – President Mahmoud Abbas reiterated Friday that the Palestinian leadership would stick to its UN bid aimed at obtaining international recognition of an independent Palestinian state in September.

Abbas said that the choice to take the case to the UN was a result of Israel’s stubbornness, the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported. The Israelis, he said, thwarted every attempt to resume substantive negotiations which would eventually lead to ending the occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state on the pre-1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

“The first choice, the second choice, and the third choice for the Palestinians is to establish a Palestinian state through negotiations,” Abbas added. He asserted that settlement activities of all kinds must be stopped, because that contradicts with the peace process.

The president explained that the UN bid was not a unilateral step, neither would it contradict with the essence of the peace process. It is not aimed to delegitimize Israel or isolate it, but rather to strengthen the two-state solution.

Abbas also reiterated that national reconciliation remained a top priority through the formation of a technocrat government which will reconstruct the Gaza Strip and prepare for presidential and legislative elections.

Abbas’ comments came during a speech he delivered in the evening at a meeting for Fatah movement’s consultative council held in the presidential office in Ramallah.

Chairman of the Palestinian National Council Salim Za’nun attended the meeting along with secretary of Fatah’s central committee Abu Mahir Ghneim and other members of the committee.

The council elected Ahmad Qurei secretary, Mohammad Al-Hourani his deputy, and Abu Ali Msoud rapporteur.

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