Egypt calls on US to recognize Palestinian state

CAIRO (AFP) – Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi on Sunday called on the United States to recognize a Palestinian state, as rival Palestinian factions prepare to sign a reconciliation accord in Cairo.

Arabi urged visiting US Congressman Steve Chabot to “press Congress and the American administration to recognise a Palestinian state.”

Recognition “would correspond with previous statements by the American administration supporting peace based on two states,” the official MENA news agency quoted him as saying.

Arabi, who held talks on the Arab-Israeli conflict with Chabot, also called on the United States to “exert efforts to hold an international Middle East peace conference,” MENA said.

Palestinian factions are preparing to sign a deal in Cairo on Wednesday after president Mahmud Abbas’s Fatah faction and its bitter foe Hamas agreed to form a government that would prepare for elections in a year.

US President Barack Obama’s administration relaunched direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians in September only to see them grind to a halt three weeks later over Israel’s settlements construction in the West Bank.

(www.maannews.net / 01.05.2011)

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