(changing dateline) RAMALLAH, Nov 12 (KUNA) -- US President Barack Obama has expressed anew his opposition to the Palestinian leadership plan to seek non-state representation at the United Nations and re-affirmed his support for resuming direct peace negotiations with Israel.
Nabil Abu Rudeina, spokesman of the Palestinian Presidency, confirmed in a statement on Monday that Obama and President Mahmoud Abbas held a telephone conversation, during which the Palestinian president congratulated Obama on winning the US presidential elections.
President Abbas, during the conversation with Obama, explained the reasons and motives for the Palestinian leadership decision to seek UN recognition of the Palestine as a non-member state, citing Israel's settlement policy and recurring attacks on the Palestinians and their properties in the occupied territories.
However, Obama expressed again his opposition to the decision to seek such status for the Palestinian authority at the international organization.
Abbas has reaffirmed that his leadership will seek such international recognition "despite all the pressures," his spokesman added.
In Washington, the White House said President Obama returned a congratulatory message from President Abbas in a phone call.
"In his discussion with President Abbas, President Obama reaffirmed his commitment to Middle East peace and his strong support for direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians with the objective of two states living side by side in peace and security," the Sunday night announcement said. "He also reiterated the United States' opposition to unilateral efforts at the United Nations." (end) rm.wsa.nq.rk KUNA 121834 Nov 12NNNN