Abbas says Palestinians refuse US role in peace process over Jerusalem recognition


(JTA) — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the Palestinians will no longer allow the United States to have a role in the peace process due to President Donald Trump’s official recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

“It will be unacceptable for it to have a role in the political process any longer since it is biased in favor of Israel,” Abbas told delegates at an emergency meeting Wednesday of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul. “This is our position and we hope you support us in this.”

Abbas also said that Trump presented Jerusalem as a “gift” to Israel and that he gave the contested city away as if it were an American city.

“Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state … There will be no peace, no stability without that,” Abbas proclaimed.

He said the Palestinian Authority no longer recognizes any agreements it has made with Israel and the United States since Oslo. He added that the P.A. will again go to the United Nations to receive full membership, which it had refrained from doing at America’s request.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to formulate a coordinated response to the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem and said the rest of the world should recognize eastern Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

Abbas called on nations to reconsider their recognition of Israel.

“This rhetoric, which has prevented peace for years, is not surprising as we anticipated reactions like this,” a senior White House told JTA. “We will remain hard at work putting together our plan, which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian peoples. It is also important to ignore the distortions and instead focus on what the President actually said last week –  the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties, the United States continues to take no position on any final status issues and the United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides. We will continue to work on our plan for peace that we hope will offer the best outcome for both peoples and look forward to unveiling it when it is ready and the time is right.”

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