Abbas rejects ‘biased’ US as sole Mideast mediator

Abbas rejects ‘biased’ US as sole Mideast mediator
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United Nations: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas tore into the Trump administration Thursday, refusing to accept the United States as the sole mediator in the Middle East conflict, a day after Donald Trump promised a “very fair” peace plan.

The 82-year-old Palestinian Authority president used his address to the UN General Assembly to lambast the United States for closing the Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, moving its embassy and slashing Palestinian aid money.

Speaking one day after the US president said he favored a two-state solution to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and vowed to unveil a new peace plan within months, Abbas said Trump could not be regarded as a neutral broker.

“We will also not accept sole American mediation in the peace process,” he said, accusing the former real estate tycoon of being “biased” towards Israel since taking office in January 2017.

“With all of these decisions, this administration has reneged on all previous US commitments, and even undermined the two-state solution,” Abbas told the world body in a nearly 40-minute speech.

“It’s really ironic that the American administration still talks about what they call the ‘deal of the century.’ “But what is left for this administration to give to the Palestinian people? Only humanitarian solutions?” Palestinian leaders have long seen President Donald Trump’s administration as blatantly biased in favor of Israel and seeking to blackmail them into accepting their terms.

The Palestinian leadership cut off contact with the White House after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December and the United States has also cut more than 500 million in Palestinian aid.

“From this august platform, I renew my call to President Trump to rescind his decisions and decrees … in order to salvage the prospects for peace and to achieve stability and security for future generations,” Abbas said. AFP