P.A. Presses Ahead with UN Statehood Campaign

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Ignoring calls for peace talks, a resolute Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said Tuesday he plans to request full membership in the United Nations.
Abbas will meet with French President Nicholas Sarkozy and others to line up support ahead of his speech Friday before the U.N. General Assembly.  

"Twenty years of negotiations are enough. The world should intervene," an Abbas spokesperson said.
The news comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called on Abbas to meet him in New York, saying he wants to resume peace negotiations.
Netanyahu spokesman Mark Regev said the Palestinians made a commitment 18 years ago to solve all issues of contention through negotiations.

"They are in clear violation of both the spirit and the letter of signed agreements. This is a violation of Palestinian commitments. This cannot help peace," Regev said.
Representatives of the U.S., European Union, and Russia are working to try to avert a divisive showdown on Friday. 
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Netanyahu in calling for new talks, saying the only path to Palestinian statehood is through negotiations with Israel.

"We continue to believe and are pressing the point that the only way to a two-state solution, which is what we support and want to see happen, is through negotiations," Clinton said.
The U.S. is putting the pressure on at all levels.
"The Palestinians will not and cannot achieve statehood through a declaration at the United Nations. It is a distraction and in fact it's counterproductive," White House spokesman Jay Carney said.

Reports indicate Israeli security forces are preparing for the possibility of an outbreak of Palestinian violence.
Clinton, meanwhile, said there's still time to find a solution to this diplomatic crisis.

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Heather Sells

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