Palestinian UN bid not to be withdrawn even if talks resume: Abbas

October 11th, 2011 - 8:02 pm ICT by IANS  

Ramallah, Oct 11 (IANS) Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said the Palestinian bid for a full United Nations membership won’t be withdrawn even if peace talks with Israel are resumed, a report said Tuesday.

The Ramallah-based al-Ayyam Daily quoted Abbas as saying in an interview that the resumption of peace talks with Israel “is linked to halting settlement and accepting the two-state vision solution”, reported Xinhua.

He said “even if Israel accepts the Palestinians conditions and the talks are resumed, the Palestinian bid to the UN for a full membership of a Palestinian state established on the 1967 territories won’t be withdrawn”.

“There are no contradictions between the bid to the UN and the negotiations,” said Abbas, adding that he sticks to the condition of an Israeli commitment to halting settlement construction and the two-state solution.

Abbas said the Palestinian side is ready to resume the negotiations “but this would need Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to declare his commitment to the International Quartet Committee”.

“This means that if he accepts the full cessation of settlement construction and the two-state solution on 1967 borders, we will be ready to resume the direct peace negotiations,” said Abbas.

The direct peace talks between the two sides have been stalled for almost one year after Israel refused to freeze settlement construction in the Palestinian territories occupied by Israel in 1967, including east Jerusalem.

Asked about the time needed in order to reach a permanent peace agreement, Abbas said “all depends on the other side,” adding “we can start with the issues of security and borders and then continue discussing the other issues.”

Security and borders issues as well as the issues of Jerusalem, the refugees, water and prisoners in Israeli jails, in addition to the issue of settlement are the major outstanding permanent status issues.

Abbas stressed that Israel’s rejection to resolving any of these issues “would mean that there will be no permanent agreement to be reached, because there is a principle that nothing yet is agreed upon until agreeing on everything.”

Asked if he thinks that reaching a peace deal with Netanyahu is possible, Abbas said: “I don’t know, it is a difficult question, I deal with him as the elected prime minister in Israel.”

Meanwhile, Abbas said that he has other choices in case the United States vetoes the Palestinian bid to the UN for a statehood. However, he declined to say what the choices are.

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