The Palestinian bid to gain nonmember status at the United Nations does not obviate the necessity for peace talks with Israel, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Wednesday.

“We’re ready to go back to negotiations straight away. Going to the UN is not a substitute for negotiations. We are in need of negotiations to solve the final status of issues that face us both,” Abbas told reporters during a visit of Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev’s to the West Bank city of Ramallah.

“We have resolved to go to the UN to save the two-state solution and to achieve the rights of our people as an observer state,” Reuters quoted Abbas saying.

The Palestinians currently hold observer status at the UN. An upgrade by the General Assembly to nonmember status, though non-binding, would effectively recognize Palestinian statehood — a move that could open the way for the Palestinians to take legal action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

Last month, speaking to the UN General Assembly, Abbas was fiercely critical of Israel, saying “settler crimes” could be traced back to the Israeli government and were an “inherent byproduct” of continued occupation and an Israeli policy of “ethnic cleansing.”

“The Israeli government rejects the two-state solution,” Abbas said at the assembly. “Israel is promising the Palestinian people a new catastrophe, a new nakba.”

AP contributed to this report.