Abbas: Statehood in a year if talks fail

Nov. 8, 2010 at 7:43 AM
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ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 8 (UPI) -- Palestinians will declare a sovereign state within a year if peace negotiations with Israel fail, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said.

Abbas asserted that the P.A. had complied with all international (peace) resolutions but Israel had failed to honor any of them, the Ma'an news agency quoted him as saying.

"We met our obligations, but ... [Israel] did not, and so we will be discharged from obligations," Abbas said at a forum on peace and global security in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.

Abbas said he will continue to refuse to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, telling the forum, "There are one and a half million Arabs in Israel, and if we agree on Israel as [a] Jewish state that will be enough reason to expel them," the news agency reported.

Referring to the stages of negotiations under different Israeli and American administrations, Abbas said he had reached an agreement with former U.S. President George W. Bush to deploy NATO forces on the borders of a Palestinian state.

Abbas said the Palestinians reached agreements on borders and security issues with former Israel Prime Minister Ehud Olmert but they were all rejected by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

Netanyahu "created obstacles when he insisted on staying in the Palestinian territories and demanded recognition of Israel as a Jewish state," the agency quoted the Palestinian president as saying.

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