A Palestinian state will be declared "in a few weeks", Palestinian president Yasser Arafat said in a speech Sunday in the West Bank town of Nablus.
"The Palestinian state will be proclaimed in a few weeks", he told thousands of supporters of his Fatah faction, the mainstream of the PLO.
"The coming weeks will be crucial," he added in a speech at a local school.
Arafat has said several times that he will declare a Palestinian state before the end of the year, with or without a final peace deal with Israel, but without giving even an approximate date.
A final accord, covering such issues as the status of Jerusalem, the borders of a future Palestinian state, the future of 3.5 million Palestinian refugees and the question of Jewish settlements, is scheduled to be reached by September 13th - NABLUS (AFP)
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)