Abbas laments Obama's "failure" to stop Israeli settlements
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas has regretted that the Obama administration had failed to stop Israeli settlement construction, contrasting it with that of ex-president George W. Bush, in an interview with al-Jazeera television, DPA reported.
"During former US President George Bush's administration Israel and the Palestinians reached an agreement in which the Israeli side would recognise East Jerusalem as capital of the Palestinian state, which will be formed on the 1967 borders," Abbas said, regretting the impasse in the peace negotiations under President Barack Obama's administration.
Obama "has failed" to stop the construction of settlements and Palestinians will go to Security Council and study different choices if the peace negotiations fail, Abbas said in the interview broadcast late Friday.
However, the Palestinian president ruled out the idea of a unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state without an agreement with Israel.
Warning of serious repercussions on the entire region, including an outbreak of an intifada or a revolt if peace efforts fail, Abbas said he does not expect an armed confrontation with Israel.
About the different formulas that could revive the peace process, frozen since September when Israeli moratorium on settlement expired, Abbas rejected opening a "secret channel" with the Israeli minister of defense, Ehud Barak, saying that Israel would not recognize the 1967 borders.
Palestinians have been seeking for international support for recognition of a Palestinian state at the United Nations. So far 122 countries have answered positively to a request to co-sponsor a draft Security Council resolution condemning Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian territories.
The United States has opposed a move by Arab countries to bring the resolution to the UN but has not said it would use its veto to block passage.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Thursday the issue needs to be resolved through direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians, even as the United States has also condemned continued settlement construction.
"We dont see action in the United Nations or any other forum as being helpful in bringing about that desired outcome," she said, before adding that the United States is "working to keep the focus where we think it needs to be, and that's not in New York."