Advertising Console

    Abbas says statehood bid irreversible

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas insists efforts to win U.N. recognition for a Palestinian state are irreversible and the move has wide international support. Speaking to editors in Cairo on Wednesday, Abbas said so far 126 countries back the Palestinian initiative. Once a Palestinian state is recognized it will strengthen the negotiating position with Israel, he said. Abbas later met with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Cairo to discuss the statehood bid. Abbas has ign ored U.S. calls to embark on direct negotiations with Israel and pull out of the statehood bid. However Nimmer Hammad, a senior Palestinian official declared that Abbas will agree to return to the negotiating table if Israel agrees to one of two conditions -- a halt to all settlement construction or announce the establishment of a Palestinian state will be based on 1967 lines.