International News

Abbas rules out US peace plan after Jerusalem decision

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Friday that he would “no longer accept” any peace plan proposed by the United States, dealing a pre-emptive blow to a fresh initiative expected by Washington next year.
The comments in Paris came hours after 128 members of the United Nations voted to condemn US President Donald Trump’s decision on December 6 to unilaterally recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
That move continues to reverberate in the Middle East and European diplomats are pessimistic about the Trump administration’s peace plan which is being prepared behind closed doors and will be presented to both sides in 2018.
US Vice President Mike Pence postponed a trip he was due to make to the region this week, after Palestinian and Arab Christian leaders expressed reluctance to meet him.
“The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it,” Abbas told a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.
Macron repeated his earlier condemnations of the US decision on Jerusalem, but he also ruled out recognising Palestine as a state unilaterally, which France has mooted previously.
“The Americans have marginalised themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing,” Macron said, conscious that any move to recognise Palestine would antagonise the Israelis.