Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said on Wednesday, the 12th anniversary of his symbolic declaration of independence in Algeria, that a Palestinian state was "very close."
Asked when he would declare the creation of a Palestinian state, a move Israel and the United States vehemently oppose, Arafat said in English: "very close."
The Palestine Liberation Organization's 129-member central council was due to have met by November 15 to discuss the much-trumpeted statehood declaration, which has twice been put off under international pressure, most recently in September.
The Palestinian minister of information, Yasser Abed Rabbo, said on Tuesday that the Central Council would convene within the next two weeks to discuss statehood, although he said declaring independence would be premature before the Palestinians hold sovereignty over occupied land -- GAZA CITY (AFP)
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