Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the efforts to win UN recognition for a Palestinian state are “irreversible” and have wide international support, but they do not mean the end of negotiations with Israel.
Abbas was speaking to newspaper editors in Cairo following a meeting with Arab foreign ministers, who discussed the Palestinian UN initiative.
More on the PA's UN campaign:
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The Arab League offered support for Abbas but said he will determine if he will seek recognition from the General Assembly, or would take the issue to the Security Council. The US and the Israel oppose the move.
Abbas said 126 countries back the initiative. He said it was not a symbolic move, but one that would strengthen his negotiating position with Israel.
- For full coverage of the PA's UN campaign click here
A Palestinian source told Ynet that Ramallah feels as if the campaign has passed the point of no return: "We are currently leaning towards going to the Security Council. We're not closing any doors, but we think it's too late for any new proposals."
Nevertheless, sources privy to the move said negotiations with EU delegates are ongoing, in hopes of reaching an acceptable draft for the Palestinians' UN appeal.
Should the current draft be modified, it would also include a call to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks – a move which would enable EU member nations to vote in favor of the Palestinian bid. Such a move would, however, gnaw at Israel's "moral majority."
EU Foreign Affairs Commissioner Catherine Ashton is scheduled to meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday. Netanyahu spoke with the Quartet's Middle East envoy Tony Blair on Tuesday, and is scheduled to meet with American envoys Dennis Ross and David Hill later this week, in what has been described as a last-ditch effort to change the expected course of events.
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