Abbas praises Turkey for supporting Palestinian statehood bid
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who is currently in Turkey as part of first trip abroad following the approval of his country's status as a "non-member observer state" by the UN General Assembly, addressed lawmakers at the Parliament on Monday evening. In his speech, Abbas said that he would never forget Dec. 10, 2012. "The Palestinian people will also keep this date as a historic moment in their memory. It is because of this that I pay my first visit here after gaining the official status of a non-member observer state in the UN," Abbas said, offering thanks to Turkey for its strong support during the process. "Things we do now are just the beginning not the result. We still have a long and a tough road ahead. But we are marching on the right path. We are marching towards a fully independent Palestinian state within the 1967 borders and with God's willing the capital of that state will be Jerusalem," Abbas also said, adding that Palestinians want to give a chance to the peace and calling on Israel to fulfill its obligations. "Israel must end expansion of new settlements, release Palestinian prisoners in its custody and return to negotiations, which were frozen in 2008, towards this end," Abbas noted.