Friday, December 22, 2017

Abbas says Palestinians will not accept US peace plan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has said that his people would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the US following its decision to unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The Trump administration has been preparing a plan in secret, which is expected to be presented to the two sides in 2018.

"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from the United States," Mr Abbas said after meeting French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris.

He also hit out at efforts by the US to intimidate countries ahead of a vote at the UN on Thursday, which saw 128 countries, including Ireland, condemn the US decision to recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

"I hope that the others will learn the lesson and understand that you cannot impose solutions by using money and trying to buy off countries," he added.

US Ambassador Nikki Haley, noting that Washington made "generous contributions" to the United Nations, had warned that the vote would affect "how Americans... look at countries who disrespect us in the UN".

Mr Macron repeated his earlier condemnations of the US decision on Jerusalem, but he also ruled out recognising Palestine as a state unilaterally, which France has mooted previously.

"The Americans have marginalised themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing," Mr Macron told the joint press conference with Abbas.

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