Palestinian leader calls for peace conference by mid

Adjust Comment Print

The United States is "ready to talk" Middle East peace with the Palestinians, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Tuesday in remarks directed at Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a meeting of the UN Security Council.

Hold an global peace conference this year to salvage the idea of a Palestinian state.

Abbas outlined the Palestinian vision for peace and told the council: "We are ready to begin negotiations immediately in order to achieve the freedom and independence of our people".

Between Haley's rebuke of Abbas and President Trump's decision to move the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Erekat accused the Trump administration of trying to "overthrow" Palestinian leaders.

He then attacked Israel for not having respected the Security Council resolutions, and said by so doing it acted as a "state above the law".

"It has transformed the occupation from a temporary situation as per worldwide law into a situation of permanent settlement colonization", the Palestinian leader added.


In a speech before the Central Council of the Palestine Liberation Organization in January, Abbas vowed to reject USA involvement in any peace talks and strongly criticized Trump.

She also said that the United States would not change its decision to move the nation's embassy to Jerusalem from Israel and the matter had already been discussed.

He did not answer the question, but earlier in the news conference, he had said, "the decision taken on Jerusalem was about the United States and our recognition of Jerusalem and where we choose to place our embassy, but the President was clear also on his statement ... that the final status, the final borders in Jerusalem, are up to the parties to decide".

Harris also dismissed as "off the wall" Abbas's attempt to delegitimize Zionism by asserting that the Palestinians descend from "Canaanites who lived on the land of Palestine 5,000 years ago".

Danon said: "It's not going to work that way".

Meanwhile, Nickolay Mladenov, the UN's Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process, warned that ongoing Israeli settlement construction was corroding the possibility a Palestinian state's formation. "The choice, Mr President, is yours", Haley said.


"We are trying to do the opposite and will continue working on our plan which is created to benefit both the Israeli and Palestinian people". Abbas called Trump's pro-Israeli action "dangerous" and has said the president's action destroyed his credibility as a Mideast peace broker.

In some sense, the response to Abbas's remarks reflects the degree to which US relations with the Palestinians have deteriorated since Trump announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem.

Israel's ambassador however said direct negotiations were the only way forward.

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.

The Palestinians opposed a partition plan that would have created a two-state solution in 1947, rejected a proposed peace agreement in 2000, and did so several more times over the subsequent decade.


Comments