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Abbas: PNA working hard to get UN recognition

(Xinhua)

11:29, December 25, 2011

BETHLEHEM, West Bank, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said late Saturday that the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) is exerting inimitable efforts to win a full membership of the United Nations.

"We have tried and we will keep trying to raise the Palestinian flag at the United Nations," Abbas told Christian believers during the Christmas supper at the Nativity Church in Bethlehem.

Thousands of Christians from around the globe attended the Midnight Mass at the 1,700-year-old church, the traditional birthplace of Jesus.

According to Palestinian officials, some one and a half million tourists arrived on Saturday in the West Bank city of Bethlehem to attend the celebrations for Christmas.

Abbas added that the Israelis should be assured that the Palestinians are ready to restart peace negotiations, even before Palestine is granted a full membership at the United Nations, stressing that approaching the United Nations can not be an alternative to peace talks.

The Palestinian president has also criticized the Jewish settlers' practices against the Palestinians in the West Bank, saying such actions are unbearable and immoral.

"I hope that Israeli leaders would come to understand that we are peace-seekers not war-makers. We want to live with the Israelis in peace.

Abbas applied for a full UN membership for the state of Palestine on Sept. 23, but the UN Security Council has not approved the application.

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