Mahmoud Abbas urges EU to take lead in peace efforts

Day after UN vote, Palestinian President Abbas says he has 'trust' in French leader Macron's efforts to advance peace.

    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has called on the European Union to take the initiative in the Israel-Palestine peace process.

    Abbas also says he will "no longer accept" any peace plan put forward by the US following President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel on December 6.

    "The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process," Abbas said during a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris on Friday.

    Tensions between the US and the world community came to a head at the UN General Assembly on Thursday evening.

    A nonbinding draft resolution to declare Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital "null and void" was approved by the General Assembly, with 128 states voting in favour and nine against, with 35 abstentions.

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    The Trump administration appeared to threaten states who voted for the resolution with a cut in US aid to the UN and to member states.

    Nikki Haley, US ambassador to the UN, said that as the largest donor to the international body, the US had "a legitimate expectation" that its goodwill would be "recognised and respected".

    The threat was met with condemnation from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said Trump "cannot buy Turkey's democratic will".

    Abbas echoed Erdogan's sentiment, saying he hoped the US will "learn the lesson and understand that you cannot impose solutions by using money and trying to buy off countries".

    The Palestinian Authority hopes the European Union will take a leading role in peace negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis, Abbas continued.

    "We have trust in you. We respect the efforts made by you and we count heavily on your efforts," Abbas told French President Macron.

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    Macron reaffirmed the French position that the two-state solution is the answer to ending the 70-year Israeli occupation of Palestine.

    Macron went on to criticise Trump's move: "The Americans have marginalised themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing … I do not approve of Trump's decision regarding Jerusalem."

    Although he took a critical tone, Macron, 40, has previously said he will not immediately seek a French peace initiative.

    Instead, he will wait for the outcome of the US efforts following Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

    Macron has increasingly been holding meetings with Middle East leaders in recent weeks.

    Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, was in Paris for talks less than two weeks ago.

    "I have committed myself very clearly to doing everything" to further peace, Macron said. 

    Trump and the Ethics of Foreign Aid

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    Trump and the Ethics of Foreign Aid

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News


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