Abbas Arab League - Reuters - Oct 10, 2010
Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmad Abu Al-Gheit, left, and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas talking Friday before starting the Arab League meeting in Sirte, Libya. Photo by Reuters

Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Aboul Gheit said Friday that Arab nations may seek United Nations recognition of a Palestinian state if Israel continues to build settlements in the West Bank.

If Israel goes ahead with building settlements, the Arab League will study some other options such as going to the United Nations and ask for the recognition of the Palestinian state, Gheit said. The Arab League request to the UN could come next month.

At its conference in Libya last week, the Arab League's monitoring committee gave Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas support for his decision to suspend the direct talks with Israel as long as settlement construction continues, and resolved to reconvene in a month to examine alternatives to negotiations.

It also expressed hope that the United States would pressure Israel to extend the construction freeze.