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Palestinian leader seeks upgraded UN status -- but less than full membership

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas addressed the United Nations General Assembly in a speech seeking to upgrade the status of Palestine to a full member state.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly consultations are under way to upgrade the Palestinian U.N. status to that of "nonmember state."

This statement is in contrast to last year, when Palestine asked the U.N. Security Council to recognize it as a full member state. That bid failed.

"Despite all the complexities of the prevailing reality and all the frustrations that abound, we say before the international community there is still a chance - maybe the last - to save the two-state solution and to salvage peace," Abbas told the United Nations General Assembly Thursday through a translator.


But he warned the 193-nation assembly that Israel was "promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe" if it continues with its current settlement policies in the occupied West Bank.

Seth Wenig / AP

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the 67th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters Thursday, Sept. 27, 2012.

According to The Associated Press, Palestinian officials said the bid will likely be submitted on Nov. 29.

Speaking "on behalf of an angry people," Abbas said that achieving peace with Israel is still possible, but condemned the "relentless attacks on our people."

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"We... reject terrorism in all its forms, particularly state terrorism," Abbas said through a translator.

"Ultimately, the two peoples must live and coexist," he later added.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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