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Palestinians determined to bid for UN membership: Abbas

(Xinhua)

13:44, September 07, 2011

RAMALLAH, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday night told U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton via phone that he is determined to go to the United Nations to bid for a full membership, source said Tuesday.

Abbas and Clinton's dialogue comes three weeks before the UN General Assembly meeting, when it will also discuss a Palestinian request to recognize an independent Palestinian state.

The move was opposed by both Israel and the United States which threatened financial sanctions against the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).

Meanwhile, special envoy of the Mideast Quartet Tony Blair will start talks with Palestinian and Israeli officials in a bid to resume the stalled peace talks between the two sides.

Blair is to meet Abbas later Tuesday after meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Abbas is also slated to meet David Hale, the U.S. special Middle East envoy, on Wednesday for the same goal.

Israeli reports said the diplomatic moves aims at issuing a statement by the Quartet, which comprises the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN, setting the guidelines for a new round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator, said the PNA is unaware of the ideas carried by Blair and Hale.

The Palestinians decided to bid for UN membership after the negotiations stopped last year over a dispute on the Jewish settlement construction.

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