Abbas confirms not to run in elections

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RAMALLAH. November 6. KAZINFORM. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said here Thursday he will not run in the presidential election in January 2010; Kazinform refers to Xinhua.

In a live speech, Abbas said he has informed the Central Committee of his Fatah movement and the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) about his intention. "I hope they will understand my position," he said.

    Abbas announced his decision after he reviewed a grim situation due to the suspension of peace talks with Israel and the failure to end internal Palestinian crisis as the Gaza-ruling Hamas movement rejected an Egyptian offer to reconcile with Fatah.

    Abbas warned that his announcement not to stand in the election is not the last option. "There are more steps I will take," Abbas said without elaborating.

    He also said during the speech that the Israeli settlement activities in the West Bank and East Jerusalem "destroy the credibility of the peace talks."

    Abbas refuses to resume the negotiations until Israel freezes the settlement since the building annexed more Palestinian land to Israel and undermined chances of having a Palestinian statehood alongside Israel.

    Meanwhile, Abbas said the two-state solution "was still possible despite dangers surrounding this way."

   Abbas, 70, was elected as president in January 2005 after the death of late leader Yasser Arafat; Kazinform cites Xinhua. See www.news.xinhuanet.com for full version.

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