Palestinian Arabs Prepare for Statehood Declaration

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JERUSALEM, Israel -- Fatah officials in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) called on Palestinian Arabs to stage mass demonstrations on Sept. 21 in support of the upcoming bid for unilateral statehood at the United Nations.

"The president is going to the U.N. carrying with him the trusteeship of the refugees, Jerusalem, martyrs, prisoners and the aspirations of our people to achieve freedom and independence," Fatah spokesman Osama Qawassmeh said, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas flew to Cairo Monday to attend an Arab League meeting and hold talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who will also attend the meeting. 

Erdogan arrived Monday at midnight with a large delegation of senior military and government officials. He is believed to be presenting himself as one of the foremost heads of state and a staunch supporter of the Palestinian struggle against Israel.

It is the first state visit to Egypt by Turkey in 15 years. 

Erdogan will work to deepen ties with the post-Mubarak regime, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces, while fomenting more anti-Israel sentiment during his visit to Egypt, Libya, and Tunisia.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration is encouraging Egyptian and Israeli leaders to restore normal diplomatic activities following Friday's riots outside Israel's embassy in Cairo. The violence led to the evacuation of the ambassador and most of the embassy staff.

The Egyptian and Israeli governments have both expressed the desire to maintain diplomatic relations. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he hopes to return Israel's ambassador to Cairo as soon as possible.

The interim Egyptian government has promised to protect Israel's embassy and staff from further attacks.

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