Norway - Reuters - August 2011
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (R) gestures during his meeting with Norway's Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stoere in the West Bank city of Ramallah August 27, 2011. Photo by Reuters
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Norway will recognize a Palestinian state, Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store said Sunday as Palestinians prepared to seek statehood recognition from the United Nations.

"Only negotiations can solve matters between Israel and the Palestinians, and should commence immediately," Store wrote in an entry on his Facebook page.

"But the Palestinians have a right to go to the UN. Norway will support this and is prepared to recognize a Palestinian state," he added.

A Palestinian bid was expected during the UN General Assembly that opens Monday in New York.

Store and Norwegian Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg were due to attend the UN gathering.

Before that, Store was to chair a meeting of a donor support group for the Palestinians, the so-called Ad Hoc Liaison Committee.