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05 November 2009 

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Abbas Aides: Palestinian Leader Will Not Seek Re-Election

05 November 2009

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (File)
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (File)
Palestinian officials say President Mahmoud Abbas does not plan to run for re-election in January.

He announced his decision at a meeting of the executive committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization, and is expected to give a speech on the issue later Thursday.

Palestinian officials say the executive committee is trying to persuade Mr. Abbas to reverse his decision.

Mr. Abbas has led the Palestinian peace effort with Israel since becoming president of the Palestinian Authority in January 2005.

Those efforts have made little headway, despite renewed pressure from the United States for a resumption of unconditional talks.

The Palestinians are insisting no progress will be made until Israel freezes all construction of Jewish settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians want the land for a future state.

Mr. Abbas in the past has suggested he would have no reason to continue in his post if his demands for peace are not met.

The Obama administration had supported the Palestinians' conditions for peace talks earlier this year, but U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton backtracked last week. She drew Palestinian criticism by praising Israel for offering to pull back, but not freeze, some Jewish settlement construction.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.

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