Speaking at the first Sir Bani Yas Forum on Peace and Global Security in Abu Dhabi, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said that Palestinians will declare a sovereign state within a year, if negotiations with Israel fail.Abbas expressed that Palestinian Authority’s agenda is clear: “If Israel refuses to freeze settlements, we will ask the US to propose a solution and submit it to both sides. If we fail, we will go to the UN Security Council seeking international recognition of a Palestinian state. In addition, he also mentioned Obama’s words that there would be a Palestinian state in a year and it will be a member state of the UN.

The Palestinian President talked at length about the different stages of negotiations during the tenure of former US President George W Bush and current President Barack Obama. He recalled that there was agreement with Bush to deploy NATO forces on the borders of the Palestinian state.

However, Abbas criticized Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s political unilateralism, especially regarding on his refusal to stop settlement activities. ‘We will not be deceived by a moratorium, or half a moratorium, or a quarter of a moratorium. If they want to resume negotiations, settlement construction must stop completely, and then we will discuss borders and security,’ Abbas added.

With regard to the demand recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, Abbas reiterated: ‘there are one and a half million Arabs in Israel, and if we agree on Israel as Jewish state, it will be enough reason to expel them.’

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to rescind a partial suspension of settlement expansion, and allow for massive building of settlements on Palestinian land starting in late September, led to Washington-sponsored ‘peace talks’ being put on hold.