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Abbas: We refuse observer status at the UN

Aug. 19, 2011 11:19 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 21, 2011 1:15 A.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) - President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinian leadership rejected upgrading Palestine to observer status at the UN and would demand full membership, the official news agency Wafa reported.

Palestine refuses to be like the Vatican, which is not a member of the world body but has observer status, Abbas said.

Speaking in Beirut, Abbas said 122 countries supported an independent Palestinian state on 1967 borders, adding that the number could increase.

Palestine also had the support of nine of the 15 UN Security Council members, the president said.

Abbas said the Arab League had discussed allowing armed resistance to Israel's occupation if the bid for full membership of the UN failed, and that some countries supported the idea.

But the president said Palestinians did not want armed resistance "unless you all take a decision to launch war."

He added: "I cannot fire one single bullet at Israel because all I have is a policeman with a Kalashnikov and minimum ammunition."
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