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Abbas says statehood bid will boost talks

July 22, 2011 at 2:58 PM

BARCELONA, Spain, July 22 (UPI) -- President Mahmoud Abbas, visiting Spain, says Palestinians are seeking U.N. membership so they can resume talks with Israel as equals.

"We want to go to the U.N. and the Security Council to ask for membership of Palestine in the U.N.," the official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted him saying during a visit to Barcelona Thursday.

"If we get a positive response, we will surely resume peace talks with the Israeli side over the various sticking issues, including borders, Jerusalem, refugees, settlements, water and security."

Abbas adviser Nimer Hammad told The Jerusalem Post the decision to seek U.N. recognition in September for a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, which Israel has been trying to head off, is irreversible.

"The decision to go to the U.N. is an Arab decision," he said, referring to a move by Arab League foreign ministers last week to submit the motion to the General Assembly.

If Palestine wins the support of two-thirds of U.N. members, considered more than likely, "it would be in a better position even if the U.S. resorts to the veto in the Security Council. In this case, the status of Palestine in the U.N. would be similar to that of the Vatican," Hammad said.

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