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Palestinians counting on Obama for state
By Elior Levy
Ynet / Israel News
18 Apr 2011,7340,L-4058658,00.html

The Palestinians are signaling they are still planning to go ahead with efforts
to declare an independent state with the backing of the United Nations.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said during a visit in Tunisia that the
Palestinian Authority is ready to establish a state. `We are counting on the
words of US President Barack Obama who said his vision is to see a Palestinian
state this coming September according to a deadline set by the Quartet.`

Abbas added that 130 countries have already recognized a Palestinian state on
1967 borders and that this number could well reach 140 or 150. He stated that
Western European countries have also accepted the fact that a Palestinian state
will be established sooner or later, despite not having recognized it yet.

The Palestinian leader said he rejects statements Prime Minister Benjamin
Netanyahu reportedly made alluding to a state on provisional borders. `Such talk
means only one thing – that the Israeli-Arab conflict will go on for generations
to come.`

Abbas is slated to meet French President Nicolas Sarkozy on Wednesday. French
Foreign Minister Alain Juppי recently said that France and the European Union
are working on initiatives which will see Israel and the Palestinian back at the
negotiating table in talks leading up to recognition of a Palestinian state in
the fall.

Hanan Ashrawi, member of the PLO`s executive committee said that LA Times
reports suggesting that the Quartet may recognize a Palestinian state are purely
speculative. The Quartet has a duty to recognize a state and not threaten to
recognize it, she said. Saeb Erekat made similar statements.

Idle threat?
Meanwhile, Israeli state officials sounded surprisingly optimistic on Tuesday.
Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said: `The Palestinian threat for a
unilateral move in the UN is an idle threat. I believe the Europeans will not
vote in favor of this in the end.`

Another state official noted, `Abu Mazen (Abbas) is going around the world
trying to raise support but not everyone in the PA believe it`s the right move
for the Palestinians right now. They all understand that a vote will not change
reality on the ground. The Europeans are not likely to vote for the

`Should the resolution address clear borders and the right of return – they
won`t get the Europeans` support. `

Attila Somfalvi contributed to this report

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