Abbas says he is optimistic about peace with Israel

July 3, 2013 at 7:38 AM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 3 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is optimistic about renewed efforts to revive Israeli peace talks but may seek upgraded U.N. status if they fail.

"We are optimistic because [U.S. Secretary of State John] Kerry is serious and determined to achieve a solution," Abbas told reporters in Ramallah Tuesday.

"We hope the day will come soon when we would be able to return to the negotiating table and discuss the basic issues between us."

Diplomatic sources told The Jerusalem Post if Kerry fails to revive talks with Israel, Abbas might ask the United Nations in September to consider upgrading the Palestinians' non-member state status.

Asked to respond to recent statements made by Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu that he is willing to sit in a tent for peace, Abbas said a tent was unnecessary.

"I have my home and he has his. We can meet in our homes," the Ma'an news agency quoted him as saying.

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