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Mahmoud Abbas: 'Of whom should I be afraid?'

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Abbas: It is not an adventure. On the contrary, it is a well-calculated endeavor. For more than a year, we have discussed this issue and considered it down to the tedious details: Where do we go and how do we go there? We discussed it with Arab countries, which have been fully up to speed, especially the Arab follow-up committee, on every step we have taken. For this reason, we were not maneuvering or playing games, but were instead absolutely clear to everyone. This is our stance, and this is what we want to do. This is not only recorded in the minutes of meetings, but also in our statements.

Dergham: Will a US veto lead you to alternatives that you know of? What will you do? What are your alternatives if the US veto is used?

Abbas: I said that we will now return home and study all possibilities. This means that anything that will be proposed to us, we shall not reject readily, but instead consider in accordance to the ground rules that we hold. In other words, we want to return to the negotiations. But without recognition of the 1967 borders and without a halt to settlement activity, we will not do so. We await the Security Council to resolve the matter in due course through its formal and technical procedures. However, we reject any political games aimed at obstructionism and stalling.

Dergham: Is there a scenario whereby upon the arrival of the application to the Security Council, a decision on it is deferred, only deferred, until the European efforts along with those of the Arabs at the General Assembly are concluded, so that Palestine would be given the membership of an observing state but not full membership?

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