Abbas: Talks fail; time for statehood

July 13, 2011 at 1:15 PM
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RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 13 (UPI) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says European attempts to revive peace talks with Israel have failed and he will go for U.N. recognition of statehood.

Speaking in Ramallah on the West Bank Tuesday after a meeting with Greek President Karolos Papoulias, Abbas said, "We will go to the United Nations and we hope the United States will not use its veto. ... The fact that there is no statement from the Quartet is a negative indication that there is deep division between them," EUobserver reported.

Foreign ministers of the Quartet -- the European Union, Russia, the U.N. and the United States -- met in Washington Monday, but did not issue a communique, as expected.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton termed the meeting "excellent," and Russia's Sergei Lavrov said the effort is not dead, but EU foreign relations chief Catherine Ashton, who called the meeting, has been silent.

Riyad Mansour, the Palestinian ambassador to the U.N., told the Israeli newspaper Haaretz he will submit the statehood motion within weeks and expects support from 130 to 150 member states, including much of Europe.

As for the EU, he said: "Just hold tight. You will be hearing interesting news soon about it before September."

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