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Arab League chief says Palestinians to petition UN

Saturday - 12/29/2012, 10:48pm  ET

Arab League Secretary-General Nabil Elaraby walks past an honor guard during an arrival ceremony in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Saturday, Dec. 29, 2012. (AP Photo/Nasser Shiyoukhi)

MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
Associated Press

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) -- Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said Saturday that two decades of talks with Israel have been "a waste of time" and that Palestinians will soon take a new statehood bid to the U.N.

The U.N. General Assembly last month endorsed a de facto Palestinian state in the West Bank, east Jerusalem and Gaza, areas Israel won in a 1967 war. But outright recognition of statehood status for Palestine fell short last year before the more powerful U.N. Security Council.

"We will return to the U.N. Security Council," he said in Ramallah Saturday after meeting Palestinian officials. "Palestine will be cooperating with Arab and EU countries to change the equation (in the peace process) that prevailed over the past 20 years, which was a waste of time."

By mentioning other states and the European Union, some may interpret Elaraby's remarks as implying that the international community should intervene and impose a solution to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.

Talks collapsed in 2008 after Palestinians demanded Israel stop building in areas they want for a future state. Israel insists settlements and other core issues should be resolved in talks themselves.


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