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Mahmoud Abbas Says No Role for US in Peace Process

Mahmoud Abbas Says No Role for US in Peace ProcessMahmoud Abbas Says No Role for US in Peace Process

The Palestinian president said Wednesday his people will not accept any role for the United States in the Mideast peace process “from now on,” following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Beit-ul-Moqaddas as the capital of Israel.

Mahmoud Abbas spoke at a gathering of heads of state and top officials from Islamic nations at a summit in Turkey that is expected to forge a unified Muslim world’s stance against Trump’s move, AP reported.

Abbas called Trump’s decision a “crime” that threatened world peace. He called on the United Nations to take charge of the peace process and create a new mechanism, arguing that Washington is no longer “fit” for the task.

Palestinians are committed to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Abbas said, but after Trump’s seismic shift on the holy city, Washington is not accepted as a fair negotiator.

The speech marked a significant shift in Abbas’ approach toward the United States, after years of focusing on courting US goodwill because of Washington’s role as sole mediator in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Immediately after Trump’s announcement last week, Abbas had said the US effectively disqualified itself as a broker, but Wednesday’s speech was more sharply worded and delivered to a global audience.

Last week, Abbas aides said the Palestinian leader would not meet with Mike Pence during the US vice president’s planned visit to Israel and the West Bank next week. Abbas had initially planned to meet with Pence in the biblical West Bank town of Bethlehem, but two senior aides have said the meeting would not take place because of Trump’s pivot on Beit-ul-Moqaddas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan —the current president of the OIC— called on countries to urgently recognize the Palestinian state and Beit-ul-Moqaddas as its capital.

 

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