Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Friday that if Israel failed to freeze construction in West Bank settlements by the end of November, the Palestinian Authority would ask the international community to recognize an independent state.
Speaking during a visit to Morocco, Erekat said that "if the United States won't force Israel to halt settlement construction this month, our next step will be to ask the Americans to recognize a Palestinian state within the 1967 border."
He added that if the American pressure failed to bear fruit, the Palestinian Authority would turn to the United Nations Security Council and request that it recognize an independent Palestinian state.
The remarks were made despite reported progress during Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meeting with US Secretary of State Hillary in New York ahead of an agreement which would allow Israel and the Palestinians to resume direct peace talks.
Netanyahu, who returned to Israel on Friday afternoon, is expected to discuss the matter with his top seven ministers on Saturday and brief the rest of his ministers during Sunday's cabinet meeting.
Political sources estimated that the efforts made Thursday would bear fruit. A senior minister clarified, however, that "as the talks progress, things just become more complicated and it's still unclear what kind of progress has been made."
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