Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that Palestinians won’t accept any future role for the US in the peace process due to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and threatened to pull out of existing agreements with the Jewish state.
Abbas told an emergency meeting of Organization of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul that there could be “no peace or stability” in the Middle East until Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of a Palestinian state.
Turkey is hosting the 57-member OIC in the wake of the US decision — a move widely criticized across the world but hailed by Israel. The summit is expected to forge a unified position of Arab and Muslim countries.
“Jerusalem is and will forever be the capital of the Palestinian state… There will be no peace, no stability without that,” Abbas proclaimed.
He slammed Trump’s declaration as a “crime” and a “gift” to the “Zionist movement” — as if he “were giving away an American city” — and asserted that Washington no longer had any role to play in the peace process.
Abbas said the Palestinians had been engaged with Washington in a new push to reach a peace agreement with Israel, the “deal of our times.” But “instead we got the slap of our times,” Abbas said. “The United States has chosen to lose its qualification as a mediator … We will no longer accept that it has a role in the political process.” He suggested the UN should take over as mediator.
Abbas noted that the international community had nearly unanimously opposed Trump’s decision, calling it a “provocation” to Muslims and Christians and saying measures were needed to protect the identity of the divided city.
“We will tell the Israelis that we are no longer committed to any agreement from Oslo until today,” he threatened, asserting that the Palestinian Authority intended to return to the United Nations to to gain full membership.
“If there is no Palestinian state along the June 1967 borders with Jerusalem as its capital, there will not be peace in the region, in the territories or in the world,” he said. “They must choose.”
Addressing the gathering before Abbas, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the summit’s host, urged the world to recognize East Jerusalem as the “capital of Palestine.”
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