NEW YORK - President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday urged all UN member states to recognize Palestine in a September vote and support its admission to the world body, saying the proposal was not a diplomatic 'stunt. Minutes after the state of Israel was established on May 14, 1948, the United States granted it recognition. Our Palestinian state, however, remains a promise unfulfilled, he said in an opinion piece in The New York Times on Tuesday. Abbas said US political pressure failed to stop Israels settlement programme in the occupied West Bank and Palestinians cannot wait indefinitely for a state of their own. Our quest for recognition as a state should not be seen as a stunt; too many of our men and women have been lost for us to engage in such political theatre, he wrote in the article, appearing three days before US President Barack Obama hosts Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House. We call on all friendly, peace-loving nations to join us in realizing our national aspirations by recognizing the State of Palestine on the 1967 border and by supporting its admission to the United Nations, Abbas said, referring to boundaries that embrace the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Netanyahus high-profile visit to Washington, where he will also address a joint meeting of the US Congress on May 24, is widely seen as part of an Israeli diplomatic drive to persuade major international players to oppose the Palestinian bid. The United States, a close ally of Israel, has been cool to the idea of UN recognition and has urged the Palestinians and Israel not to take unilateral steps that could jeopardize a final peace settlement. US-hosted peace talks stalled shortly after they resumed in Washington eight months ago in a dispute over construction in settlements Israel has built in the West Bank, territory it captured with the Gaza Strip in a 1967 war. Palestines admission to the United Nations would pave the way for the internationalization of the conflict as a legal matter, not only a political one, Abbas said. Recognition in September, when the UN General Assembly meets, would enable Palestine to negotiate from the position of one United Nations member whose territory is military occupied by another... and not as a vanquished people ready to accept whatever terms are put in front of us, he said. Abbas defended his unity deal with Hamas, an Islamist group that seized the Gaza Strip in 2007, against Israels charge that the accord dealt a blow to peace. Negotiations remain our first option, but due to their failure we are now compelled to turn to the international community to assist us in preserving the opportunity for a peaceful and just end to the conflict. Palestinian national unity is a key step in this regard, he wrote. Contrary to what Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel asserts, and can be expected to repeat this week during his visit to Washington, the choice is not between Palestinian unity or peace with Israel; it is between a two-state solution or settlement-colonies. Setting the stage for his US trip, Netanyahu told Israels parliament on Monday that a Palestinian government that includes Hamas whose founding charter calls for the Jewish states destruction could not be a peace partner. But, drawing criticism from settler leaders and right-wing politicians, Netanyahu held out the prospect of handing over parts of the West Bank if the Palestinians accept his peace terms, saying a deal would encompass tracts of our homeland. Those conditions, which include Palestinians recognition of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people and acceptance of a long-term Israeli military presence along the eastern border of their future state, have been rejected by Abbas.