Abbas tells thousands: 'We are now a state'

East Jerusalem is now secured as the capital of the Palestinian state, he said, promising the vote would change many facts on the ground.

Abbas tells thousands: 'We are now a state'

World Bulletin / News Desk

President Mahmoud Abbas returned from New York, where he won a UN vote to admit Palestine, to cheering crowds in the West Bank city of Ramallah on Sunday.

Buoyed by the UN General Assembly vote to recognize Palestine as a non-member state, Abbas told thousands assembled outside the presidential compound: "We are now a state."

"The date Nov 29. is now considered a critical moment in Palestinian history," Abbas said.

"The world is with us, and history is with us, God is with us and the future is ours," he told the crowds.

East Jerusalem is now secured as the capital of the Palestinian state, he said, promising the vote would change many facts on the ground.

Abbas has said that parties in Palestine should accord soon in order to cope with the challenges.

Abbas said although the international community acknowledged Palestine state, Palestinians still faced big challenges. He said the priority of Palestinians was to enable unity and they would accelerate their efforts on achieving that goal.

He said Palestine's being acknowledged as a state changed the balances and would bring up new realities. Abbas said the success of Palestine provoked pro-war and pro-expansion parties in Israel and made them more isolated in the international arena.

Abbas congratulated Palestinian men and women for the upgraded status of Palestine within the UN and gifted the success to the soul of Yasser Arafat, former leader of Palestinians, and other martyrs.

The vote for Palestine by 138 countries shows the forces of war, settlements and occupation have become even more isolated in the world, he continued.

Abbas said up until the last moment he was under pressure to change the content of his speech, but he refused.

Now, he said, there are several other issues waiting to be achieved, including reconciliation with Hamas. He thanked Palestinian parties for standing behind him with the UN bid.

Last Mod: 03 Aralık 2012, 11:26
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