Friday 17 August 2018

U.S. has disqualified itself from Middle East peace process - Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Marine Pennetier and Sudip Kar-Gupta

The United States has "disqualified" itself from the Middle East peace process due to its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, said Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday.

"The United States are no longer an honest mediator in the peace process, we will not accept any plan put forward by the United States," said Abbas, speaking through a translator at a joint news briefing in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Abbas also condemned a threat by U.S. President Donald Trump to cut off financial aid to countries that voted at the United Nations against the United States' decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

On Thursday, more than 120 countries defied Trump and voted in favour of a United Nations General Assembly resolution calling for the United States to drop its recent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Macron reiterated on Friday that France remained committed to a "two-state" solution, namely one in which Israel and Palestine peacefully co-exist side-by-side with one another.

Macron added that France would recognise a Palestinian state "at the right time", and not under pressure.

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