At UN, Palestinian President Rejects Trump Peace Plan, But Open to Negotiations

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"After I worked for three years with [US President Donald] Trump to produce the "deal of the century, ' a former prime minister goes to Abu Mazen [Abbas] in order to fight against it".

Tuesday's meeting was not the first time the Palestinians had suggested the USA is no longer suited to cutting a deal with the Israelis - but it featured their most serious proposal on charting a different course for talks. Geographically, they span Europe, South Africa, Australia, Canada and Central America.

The Palestinian leader called for an global conference to pursue the two-state solution demanded in various United Nations resolutions, noting that the USA could not be "the sole mediator".

The US president recently unveiled the initiative for an Israeli-Palestinian deal that would cede large swaths of the West Bank to Israel and put forward a set of near-impossible conditions for Palestine to meet including no right of return - disregarding worldwide law - before it could become a state. A peace plan in name only, it will perpetuate the occupation and doom the region to a destructive future of more bloodshed and conflict.

The Trump peace plan, released on January 28, recognizes a demilitarized Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem "located in all areas east and north of the existing security barrier, including Kafr Aqab, the eastern part of Shuafat and Abu Dis, and could be named Al-Quds or another name as determined by the State of Palestine", with a future US embassy there.

The Palestinians had originally sought to have the 15-nation council vote on a draft resolution reaffirming global parameters to resolve the decades-old conflict and calling for a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders.

The European Union issued a statement last week reiterating its support for a two-state solution based on the 1967 lines.

At the United Nations on Tuesday, Abbas showed a large map of Israel and Palestine under the terms of the plan and said that the future Palestinian state would look like "Swiss cheese" - notorious for having holes in it.

"The U.S. plan is more than a path to Palestinian independence; it is a blueprint for the construction of a flourishing Palestinian state", Craft told the council.

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He reiterated his full personal commitment and that of the organisation to supporting the parties in their effort to achieve a two-state solution. "It will take some more time, but these negotiations will take place, and the partner of Israel to these negotiations will be Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority".

Before leaving the press conference without taking questions from reporters, Abbas called Olmert a "friend" and "a man of peace", and said he wanted to "extend my hand to the Israeli people" to resume negotiations "at the point where it ended with Olmert".

The Palestinian pushback has involved garnering statements against the deal from the Arab League and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and culminating in this week's Security Council face-off.

Abbas said that peace with Israel remained "achievable" and said: "I have come to build a just partnership".

The plan would give the Palestinians limited self-rule in several enclaves connected by roads, bridges and tunnels, but only if they meet a long list of stringent conditions.

He said "the United States can not be the sole mediator", saying the Palestinians have tried this before and will not agree to do so again.

"I am serious. I am ready to stay here in the United Nations to start these negotiations immediately", he said. The administration's decision to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem dealt a fatal blow to any Palestinian participation.

The second geopolitical development enabling the United States to offer this kind of deal is related to the first - as Israel has solidified itself into a genuine Middle East power, it has also become a much more attractive partner for other Arab nations to want to work with.

In the Gaza Strip, another part of the Palestinian territories, around 2,000 people demonstrated in Gaza City in support of Abbas.

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