Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Thursday that he is not going to run in the presidential elections slated for January 2010.

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. (Photo: Ghassan Bannoura-IMEMC)



Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Thursday that he is not going to run in the presidential elections slated for January 2010.

Abbas called for the January elections after his Fatah party and its rival Hamas failed to achieve a national unity agreement last month.

In a speech at his headquarters in the central West Bank city of Ramallah, the Palestinian President demanded international pressure be put on Israeli to adhere to United Nations resolutions and to implement all previous signed peace agreements.

“I have informed the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization of my intention not to run in the upcoming presidential elections.” Abbas said.

The Palestinian President also said that peace in the region could only be accomplished by the establishment of two states – Israel and Palestine – with East Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state.

In addition he called for the release of all political detainees held by Israel and a fair and just solution to the Palestinian refugees.

The presidential elections have created tension between Hamas and Fatah as the first challenged the legality of Abbas’ term as a president since they say his term officially ended in January 2009. Abbas was elected President in 2005, after the death of the late President Yasser Arafat.

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