The Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has threatened to seek global recognition of the Palestinian state if peace negotiations with Israel fail, according to media reports.
Speaking on Monday after meeting Turkey’s President Abdullah Gul in Ankara, Abbas expressed his disappointment with the continuing building of settlements by Israel on occupied territories.
“We cannot maintain peace negotiations if settlement building is not stopped. We have other options, and we have informed Turkey and the Arab countries that if the talks cannot be restarted, then we will pass on to implementing those options,” Abbas said according to Today’s Zaman website.
The Palestinian leader said that there are about five or six options including, particularly, the recognition of Palestine by other world states. Abbas cited Brazil who has recently recognized the State of Palestine based on pre-1967 borders and Argentine’s declaration of intention to do the same thing. “We will implement our options successfully. We hope that we will not have to choose difficult options,” Abbas said.
Turkey is the only country in the Middle East that has already recognized the Palestinian State. “Without doubt,” Turkey’s president said, “it is a fact that not only a Palestinian government exists, but also a Palestinian state exists. We would like everybody else to recognize (the Palestinian state) like we have done.” Both Abbas and Gul stressed that national unity among the many rival Palestinian groups is a must for resolving the Palestinian issue.
Direct talks between Israel and the Palestinians flopped following the end of the temporary freeze on Jewish settlement building in the West Bank. Abbas maintains that he will not return to negotiations while Israel continues to build on land the Palestinians want for a future state. On the other hand, Israel has so far refused to impose a new ban and building of settlements continues unabated.
Palestinian officials have expressed increasing frustration with the stalemate in the Washington-sponsored talks with Israel, which reached an impasse immediately after they resumed in September over the issue of Jewish settlements and that attempts to secure a new Israel settlement freeze have failed.