Abbas calls for worldwide Mideast peace conference by mid

Violet Powell
February 21, 2018

President Donald Trump s December announcement angered the Palestinians, who also consider the city the capital of their future state, and led them to say the U.S. had disqualified itself from its traditional role as lead mediator in talks with Israel.

Trump's decision to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem infuriated the Palestinians, who declared that Washington could no longer play a role as lead mediator in the Middle East peace process.

"We met with the President of the United States, Mr. Donald Trump, four times in 2017, and we have expressed our absolute readiness to reach a historic peace agreement", Abbas said in a rare appearance before the Security Council.

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas will call on the world powers and worldwide community at the UN Security Council on Tuesday to stand against Trump administration decision to recognize Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as Israeli capital and establish a revamped peace process.

Mladenov said that "as the peace process falters and the gulf between the two sides widens, Palestinians and Israelis continue to suffer the violent consequences on the ground".

As for Russia's proposal to hold a Palestinian-Israeli-Russian meeting, Maliki said Russia is still insisting on playing a positive role despite the obstacles, topped by Israel's rejection.

"Mr Abbas, you have made it clear with your words and with your actions that you are no longer part of the solution, you are the problem".

"You don't have to like that decision", she said, of Trump's Jerusalem move.

During the UNSC quarterly open debate on the issue on Jan 25, the U.S Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, harshly criticised Mahmoud Abbas and questioned his will to pursue peace.

Haley also disparaged the repetitive nature of the meeting's rhetoric, opening her statement by saying, "this session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many many years, its focus has been nearly entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians, and we have heard numerous same arguments and ideas over and over again, we have already heard them again this morning".

"I'm sorry that he declined to stay in the chamber to hear remarks of others", Haley said.

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The Israeli-Palestinian peace process has been deadlocked since a major push by the administration of Trump's predecessor Barack Obama ended in failure in April 2014.

The Trump administration is preparing a new peace plan even though chances for agreement appear dim.

"In any other situation I'd say that Mahmoud Abbas's proposal for an global peace conference was a good idea, but the prime minister of Israel is a person who does not have a mandate to return territories", Galon tweeted.

In his response to Abbas speech, the Israeli ambassador to the United Nations, Danny Danon, described a history of peace talks that often ended abruptly when Palestinians withdrew once Israel had made an offer.

France, which hosted a Middle East peace conference in Paris a year ago, said it was ready to examine Abbas' proposal for a revamped approach.

"The United States stands ready to work with the Palestinian leadership", Haley remarked, addressing Abbas, who had left the UNSC session after his own speech.

The plan also gears up for an worldwide conference to pave the ground for negotiations while committing to the two-state solution and the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, he said.

In December, the General Assembly voted 128-9, with 35 abstentions, to reject the USA decision to recognize Jerusalem.

That vote in the 193-nation assembly came after 14 of the 15 council members voted in favor of a similar measure.

He also heard Mr Abbas rail against Mr Trump's decision to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem, while demanding a return to the principles of the Oslo Accords and a two-state solution.

But he told the U.N. Security Council's monthly Mideast meeting that "after decades of support, the global consensus for a two-state solution could be eroding".

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