Palestinian, US president discuss UN initiative
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A spokesman for the Palestinian president says the Palestinians will proceed with asking the U.N. General Assembly to recognize a Palestinian state, despite a personal call from President Barack Obama to abandon the bid.
Nabil Abu Rdeneh said President Mahmoud Abbas had a long phone conversation with Obama Sunday evening.
He said Obama "expresses his opposition to this step," but Abbas replied he would carry on.
The U.S. and Israel have opposed upgrading the Palestinian status at the world body to nonmember observer state.
Israel and the U.S. say a Palestinian state can be established only through negotiations.
Talks broke down four years ago over the issue of Israeli settlement construction in lands the Palestinians claim for a state.