(TheBlaze/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 telephone conversation” with Obama on Sunday evening.
He related that Obama expressed his “opposition” to the move, but Abbas defiantly replied that he would carry on.
In Washington, the White House press office said that Obama “reiterated the United States’ opposition to unilateral efforts at the United Nations.”
However, Obama also reportedly “reaffirmed his commitment to Middle East peace and his strong support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians” for a peace accord, the White House said.
Obama also said he hopes to “continue cooperating closely in the future” with Abbas, according to the Agence France-Presse.
The U.S. and Israel have opposed upgrading the Palestinian status at the world body to nonmember observer state, saying 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, and have yet to show marked improvement.