Ma'an News Agency
January 19, 2011 - 1:00am

Arab League chief Amr Mussa on Tuesday praised the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic efforts to secure international recognition of a Palestinian state.

PA Foreign Affairs Minister Riad Al-Malki updated Arab foreign ministers on diplomatic developments in Egypt's Sharm El-Sheikh, where leaders gathered ahead of an Arab League summit on Wednesday.

Foreign ministers praised Palestinian diplomatic achievements, and promised to support President Mahmoud Abbas' political strategy.

The meeting coincided with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's announcement in Jericho that Moscow remained committed to an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"We have supported the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital since the last century, and we still support it," Medvedev said, during his first official visit to Palestine.

The late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat first issued a declaration of independence at a meeting in Algiers in November 1988, with the former Soviet Union quick to express support for it.

"I'm sure that with the establishment of a Palestinian state, everyone will win -- Palestinians and Israelis," Medvedev said on his first-ever visit to the Palestinian territories.

With the collapse of peace talks with Israel, Abbas has been considering options if peace talks with Israel totally collapse -- one of which is seeking recognition for a unilateral declaration of statehood.

Over the past two months, a handful of South American countries have formally recognized a Palestinian state inside the 1967 borders, and Abbas's government in Ramallah is determined to see that through to its logical conclusion in September this year.

Both Israel and the United States have condemned the series of recognitions, saying that a negotiated peace is the only way forward.

The European Union said it would recognize a Palestinian state at the "appropriate" time.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017