Issuing elections decree dependent on holding them in E. Jerusalem: Abbas

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BETHLEHEM, Dec. 24 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Tuesday that issuing a presidential decree for holding the Palestinian elections is dependent on whether they could be held also in East Jerusalem.

Abbas made the remarks during his participation in the Christmas dinner at the Franciscan Monastery in the holy West Bank city of Bethlehem on Tuesday night.

"The Palestinian factions agreed on what we agree with, but one very important obstacle remained, namely, the holding of the elections in East Jerusalem," Abbas was quoted as saying by the Palestinian news agency WAFA.

Abbas underscored that holding the legislative and presidential elections aims "to restore democracy," adding that "We cannot remain all this time without elections and without democracy."

"We believe in democracy and believe in the liberation of Palestine soon," he said.

Israel hasn't yet given its response to the Palestinian request for allowing 400,000 Palestinians living in East Jerusalem to join the elections.

The Palestinians hope to establish an independent state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, but Israel has claimed the whole city of Jerusalem as its indivisible and eternal capital. Enditem

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