Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
said Saturday that he will not withdraw the Palestinian Authority's bid for UN membership
even if the negotiations with Israel
Abbas, who met with Egyptian leaders in Cairo Saturday, told local media that he would agree to resume the talks immediately if Israel would accept the peace proposal
submitted by the Quartet of Mideast negotiators last month.
"Our return to the negotiating table depends on Israel's acceptance of a Palestinian state based on the '67 lines," he said.
Abbas in Ramallah last month (Photo: EPA)
The Quartet – the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN – urged Israel and the Palestinians to meet within a month to agree on a timetable for direct talks. Abbas, who submitted the PA's application for full UN membership on September 23, said that even if the stalled peace process resumes, it will have no effect on his statehood campaign.
"We submitted the request and we will stick to it to the end," the Palestinian president said.
The Quartet is expected to meet with Israel and the Palestinians next week.
During his visit to Cairo Abbas met with Egypt's
military ruler, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, to discuss developments in the PA and the attempts to renew the stagnant peace process with Israel.
Abbas thanked Tantawi for Egypt's role in the prisoner swap
deal that exchanged 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for
IDF soldier Gilad Shalit
After concluding his trip to Egypt, Abbas is expected to continue to the United Arab Emirates.
The PA's UN application is currently being examined by the UN Security Council
The Palestinians have expressed discontent at the length of the process, and the PA's representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour, claimed recently that the panel is purposefully stalling for time. He warned that the PA will eventually demand Lebanon, the country currently presiding over the Security Council, to forcefully bring the issue to a vote.