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      Frantic Quartet Efforts to Fend Off PA Statehood Bid

      The US and the EU moved up their final efforts to fend off a bid by the PA to gain statehood through the UN rather than talks with Israel.
      By Chana Ya'ar
      First Publish: 9/19/2011, 2:45 AM

      Quartet
      Quartet
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      The United States and the European Union are making last-ditch efforts to fend off the Palestinian Authority's bid to gain statehood through the United Nations, rather through direct talks with Israel, as agreed upon in the 1993 Oslo Accords.

      Both the U.S. and the EU, as well as Russia and U.N. officials – a group that comprises the Quartet of peacekeeping nations – were working over the weekend to find a way to stop the PA from moving ahead with its plan.

      Representatives of all four bodies were to meet in New York to discuss the matter on Sunday.

      “I think there is a way of avoiding a confrontation,” former British prime Minister Tony Blair – currently the Quartet's Middle East envoy – told ABC News.

      Despite the optimism, however, there was little evidence that a deal could be reached.

      PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas warned over the weekend that if the bid is successful and the PA is gains status as a new country, he will consider all PA terrorists being held in Israeli prisons as “prisoners of war.”