Arab Deals with Israel

Abbas seeks UN Mideast conference next year

27 September, 2020 12:00 AM printer

UNITED NATIONS: Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas appealed Friday to the United Nations for an international conference on the Middle East in 2021, hoping for a new start after US elections and the milestone of Gulf Arabs’ recognition of Israel, reports AFP.

In an address to the General Assembly, Abbas asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convene the meeting on the Palestinian issue “early next year” and bring in “all relevant parties.”

“The conference should have full authority to launch a genuine peace process based on international law,” Abbas told the virtual General Assembly in a recorded address.

“It should aim to end the occupation and grant the Palestinian people their freedom and independence in their own state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and settle final-status issues, notably the refugee question,” he said.

Abbas made his appeal amid concerns among Palestinians of dwindling support in the Arab world for their decades-long campaign for an independent state.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain earlier this month agreed to recognize Israel, a major coup for the Jewish state and diplomatic win for US President Donald Trump.

The two Arab states, while saying they still support a Palestinian state, share the concerns of Israel and the United States about neighboring Iran.

Abbas said: “It is delusional to think that the Palestinian people could be sidelined.” “You should all know that there can be no peace, no security, no stability or coexistence in our region without an end to the occupation and without a just and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian question,” he said.

The Palestinian Authority has refused diplomatic efforts by Trump due to his administration’s staunch advocacy of Israel.

If Trump loses in November 3 elections, the conference sought by Abbas would take place under a US president Joe Biden, who is also a supporter of Israel but has vowed to promote a two-state solution.