Abbas talks of Palestinian UN status to Ashton

Mahmud Abbas on Thursday briefed EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton about attempts to raise the Palestinians’ UN status to non-member state, a report said.
The Palestinian leader told Ashton that his side was “ready to return to the negotiating table after raising the status of Palestine at the UN, in order to resume talks” with Israel, the official Wafa news agency said.
Ashton said for her part that the European Union still considered the principle of the two-state solution the basis for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
She also met Hanan Ashrawi, a senior Palestinian leader and member of the Palestine Liberation Organisation, as she ended a two-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories.
“Our decision to go to the United Nations is a serious attempt to salvage the peace process and to end the (Israeli) occupation,” Ashrawi said in a statement.
“We call on the European Union and other members of the international community to join us in our efforts to curb Israeli unilateral policies that violate international and undermine the prospects for a just peace with the creation of a Palestinian state,” she said.
In the morning, Ashton met with Palestinian prime minister Salam Fayyad, and Palestinian villagers whose olive groves were recently attacked by Israeli settlers.
On September 27, Abbas officially sought a new super observer status for Palestinians in the United Nations General Assembly, saying he was confident that majority of the member states supported such an endeavour.
Direct Israel-Palestinian negotiations have been frozen for two years, with Abbas refusing talks as long as Israel continues to build and approve new Jewish settlements

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