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Gap between US, Palestinians on UN bid large, deep: official

(Xinhua)

09:28, September 08, 2011

RAMALLAH, Sept. 7 (Xinhua) -- The gap between the United States and the Palestinians on approaching the United Nations for a full membership of the state of Palestine is so large and deep, a senior official said Wednesday.

Yasser Abed Rabbo, a member of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee, told a press conference in Ramallah that despite the gap, "we asked for a continuation of the meetings."

Abed Rabbo's statements followed a meeting held on Wednesday evening here between Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and acting U.S. envoy for peace David Hale.

Over the past couple of days, the Palestinian territories are witnessing an active diplomatic movement of Europeans and Americans as the Palestinians are determined to request a full membership of Palestine at the UN.

Meanwhile, Saeb Erekat, a veteran Palestinian peace negotiator revealed that the American officials proposed that the Quartet envoy Tony Blair, who met Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to form a statement on the resumption of the direct peace talks between the two sides.

"President Abbas responded to this proposal by saying that there is no contradiction between resuming the talks and applying to the UN to gain the full membership of the state of Palestine," Erekat told reporters.

Abbas, who met earlier with Hale and on Tuesday with Blair, had said that the Palestinian leadership would be ready to resume the stalled direct peace talks with Israel "if Israel shows commitment to peace references and the principle of the two-state solution."

Well-informed official Palestinian sources told Xinhua that during the meeting with Hale, the American official threatened that his country would use the veto power against the Palestinian bid at the UN. Hale told Abbas that the Quartet Committee will convene on Saturday to study the resumption of the talks.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian state-run Wafa news agency reported that Abbas spoke on the phone with Arab League Chief Nabil al- Arabi to prepare for the upcoming meeting of the AL follow-up committee, which will be held in the Egyptian capital of Cairo on Sept. 12 to discuss the Palestinian determination to approach the UN to request a full membership of the state of Palestine.

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