Abbas says ready to start talks with Israel after U.N. upgrade

CAIRO Mon Nov 12, 2012 8:11pm EST

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a ceremony marking the eighth anniversary of the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 11, 2012. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a ceremony marking the eighth anniversary of the death of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in the West Bank city of Ramallah November 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Mohamad Torokman

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CAIRO (Reuters) - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Monday at the Cairo-based Arab League he would press ahead with a bid for the United Nations to recognize Palestine as an observing state, adding that he was ready to start negotiations with Israel afterwards.

"We had agreed to go get the vote on November 29 ... the majority needed for the vote will be on our side," Abbas told reporters.

"If it is possible to start talks on the following day (after acquiring the observer status) then we are ready for that," Abbas added.

(Reporting by Yasmine Saleh and Ayman Samir. Writing by Marwa Awad; Editing by Michael Roddy)

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