Abbas, in rare United Nations speech, calls for Mideast peace conference

JPost Exclusive Trump team briefs Security Council on Mideast peace plan

Abbas, in rare United Nations speech, calls for Mideast peace conference

The story should have made clear that this was quoting a speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to the U.N. Security Council.

Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law and the top administration official in charge of restarting the peace talks, and Jason Greenblatt, the top U.S. Middle East negotiator, were seated directly behind Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, for the Abbas address.

In a statement to the Security Council read Thursday by former US ambassador Richard Murphy, Carter said that a two-state solution "must be anchored on 1967 borders with agreed upon adjustments and with Jerusalem as the capital for both Israelis and Palestinians". "In the coming period, we will intensify our efforts to achieve admission to full membership in the United Nations and to guarantee worldwide protection for its people".

She also said that the USA would not change its decision to move the nation's embassy to Jerusalem from Israel and the matter had already been discussed.

The United Nations granted Palestine the status of a non-member observer state in 1992, but an upgrade to full membership would require unanimous backing from the Security Council - an unlikely outcome, given the near-certainly of a USA veto.

Abbas had angrily rejected a leading USA role in brokering peace talks after Trump's December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but in his United Nations speech he called for convening a peace conference in mid-2018 with "broad global participation" but one in which the "foremost" conveners were the five permanent members of the Security Council and the members of the Quartet, the four entities guiding Middle Eastern peacemaking.

"You can choose to denounce the USA, reject the U.S. role in peace talks and pursue punitive measures against Israel in global forums like the UN", Haley said. "Once again he is running away", Danon said. It called the speech "old talking points and undeveloped concepts for each of the core issues".

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said that only a two-state solution would work and there was no Plan B. Yet, he added, that its prospects could be receding.

Washington, she said, realizes the Palestinians leadership was "very unhappy" with Trump's decision to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem. "We will present it when it is done and the time is right". During a visit to the White House last May, Abbas had praised Trump's "great negotiating ability" and said he looked forward to working closely with him to strike an "historic peace deal".

Israeli forces rounded up 20 Palestinians in overnight raids across the Israeli-occupied West Bank, according to the Israeli military on Wednesday.

Abbas left the chamber before Israel and the United States had an opportunity to deliver their formal response.

Abbas's speech will come as Israel faces escalating tensions with Iran, a supporter of the Palestinian Authority.

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