Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Monday he would forgo a September declaration of state at the UN if the United States could provide a better suggestion.
"I don't know if the US has another option, but if it does, we will not go to the UN," Abbas told Lebanese television station LBC.
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Abbas, who claims 116 of the 195 member states of the UN General Assembly are willing to recognize a Palestinian state, has stressed that his government would go through with the declaration if negotiations with Israel remain deadlocked.
"Going to the UN is not a unilateral move, as Israel claims," he said. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu claimed recently that Israel's aim was to achieve a "moral majority" – 30 states opposing the declaration.
"President Obama says he wants to see an independent Palestinian state by September. The Quartet has said the same. Fayyad's government has guaranteed its authorities will be prepared for a state, and they are one-hundred percent ready. These three reasons caused us to speak of September. That, in addition to the absence of negotiations," Abbas said in the interview.
He added that the two "problematic" issues stalemating negotiations were "borders and security". The rest, he says, can be solved.
"We have so far not discussed the core issues with Netanyahu. I only spoke with Netanyahu for altogether 15 hours and met with him three times over two years. We spoke only of security issues. Netanyahu spoke of Israeli presence along the Jordan River because he fears for Israel's safety in the shadow of the Iranian threat," Abbas said.
The Palestinian leader added that he doesn't plan on running for another term in May.
When asked whether he believes a third intifada will break out after the UN General Assembly in September, if the Palestinian move fails, he replied, "The armed resistance is killing us."
Meanwhile, Europe continues to doubt Israel's objectives. European diplomats said in closed talks Monday that the state was inspiring increasingly malignant attitudes in the continent, and that it was unclear what it planned to do in the case of a declaration.
Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report
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