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Fatah Central Committee member claims unilateral declaration of independent state "is not intended"

The official Russian news agency Itar Tass has quoted comments from a member of Fatah's Central Committee which claim that the Palestinian Authority is not planning to make a unilateral declaration of an independent state of Palestine. Azzam Al-Ahmad said that the PA will seek to raise the issue of accepting the state of Palestine as a member of the United Nations during the next meeting of the UN General Assembly; Israel, he claims, "is trying to stop this". Al-Ahmad is on a visit to Russia as part of a delegation representing Palestinian factions discussing ways to unify various positions post-reconciliation agreement.

"Moving towards full membership of the UN General Assembly is not a unilateral step," he said, "it is well within the principles of international law."

The Fatah representative expressed his surprise at the "inconsistency" of US President Barack Obama's two speeches over the past few days. He said that it is important for Israel to recognise a Palestinian state along the borders of 4 June 1967, although it will remain "incomplete with regard to Jerusalem".

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