Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas disagreed Wednesday to an aide’s proposal that Palestinians might consider a Kosovo-like declaration of a statehood.

Abbas ruled out taking such a step unilaterally soon, saying he would pursue negotiations with the Israelis until an agreement is reached by the end of 2008, including a settlement on the status of occupied east Jerusalem.

He made clear that if the said option would fail, Palestinians would go back to the Arab nation in order to formulate the necessary step, stating no specific details.

Member of the Palestinian negotiating team, Yasser Abed Rabbo, was quoted as saying yesterday that the Palestinians could consider unilaterally declaring an independent Palestinian state if underway peace talks fail.

Abed Rabbo cited the recent Kosovo style of independence as a model for his vision for the Palestinian statehood declaration.

Meanwhile, top Palestinian negotiator, Ahmad Qurai, quashed the Abed Rabo’s idea right away, claiming that such a model has never been brought before the Palestinians.

Also, Saeb Eriqat, another Palestinian negotiator, dismissed totally such a possibility, saying that the Palestine Liberation Organization had already declared independence in Algiers in 1988.

‘ We are not Kosovo; we are under occupation, therefore, what we need is an end to this occupation and real independence on the ground’, Eriqat explained.

On Tuesday, President Abbas and Israeli prime minister, discussed in west Jerusalem a possible declaration of joint principles for their final status talks, yet their meeting yielded no concrete results.

Olmert wanted a delay of talks over the occupied east Jerusalem, while Abbas refused the idea, saying that the issue of Jerusalem is a core one that should be addressed in any final talks before the end of this year.