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Abbas: UN Statehood Recognition Is Only Choice


Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) attend the Palestinian ambassadors meeting in Istanbul on July 23, 2011.

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas (L) and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) attend the Palestinian ambassadors meeting in Istanbul on July 23, 2011.

President Mahmoud Abbas says Palestinians had no choice but to seek statehood recognition through the United Nations after negotiations with Israel stalled.

He commented on Saturday at a meeting with international envoys that is being hosted by Turkey.

Mr. Abbas added that seeking statehood recognition did not have to prevent a resumption in talks, which stalled last year after an Israeli moratorium on settlement construction expired. He told the group that there were some issues that could only be resolved through negotiations.

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan voiced support for Palestinians at the start of the meeting.

He also said Turkey will not normalize relations with Israel until Israel apologized for its deadly raid last year on a flotilla bound for the blockaded Gaza Strip.

Mr. Erdogan said Israel also should pay compensation to the families of the Turkish victims killed in the raid and lift the blockade on Gaza.

Relations between Israel and Turkey were severely strained last year when Israeli commandos raided the Gaza-bound aid flotilla, killing nine Turkish activists.

Israel says its forces acted in self-defense. It also says the blockade is necessary to stop arms from reaching militants in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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