Abbas to discuss Palestinian statehood bid with Egypt’s top general

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas is heading to Egypt to discuss his plan to seek international recognition of an independent Palestinian state with the Egyptian leadership, the official Palestinian Wafa news agency has said.

During his two-day visit to Cairo, which will begin later on Sunday, Abbas will hold talks with the head of Egypt’s Higher Military Council, Mohamed Hussein Tantawi, the news agency said.

Tantawi and Abbas will discuss the results of Saturday’s meeting of the Arab League committee on the Arab Peace Initiative aimed at resolving the long-standing Arab-Israeli conflict.

They will also discuss a peace deal between Hamas and Fatah, which the Palestinian movements signed in early May, putting an end to their four-year split, Wafa said. Israel has denounced the deal, saying that it cannot negotiate with “terrorists” from Hamas who don’t recognize Israel’s right to exist.

In a statement issued after the meeting in the Qatari capital, Doha, the Arab League said it “supports the appeal to the UN asking that Palestine, within the 1967 borders, becomes a full-fledged state.”

Qatar also proposed at the meeting that the Middle East peace process should be suspended until Israel was “ready” for talks.

Speaking during a meeting of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Ramallah last week, Abbas reiterated his determination to apply to the United Nations for the recognition of Palestinian statehood in September if there is no progress in peace talks with Israel.

U.S. President Barack Obama said in his address to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) earlier this month that “no vote at the United Nations will ever create an independent Palestinian state,” because peace cannot be “imposed” on Israel and its neighbors.

Israel has rejected Obama’s call to accept the borders that existed before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, redrawn with “mutually agreed swaps,” as a basis for negotiations with the Palestinians.

GAZA, May 29 (RIA Novosti)

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