Mideast: Abbas refuses to work with US on peace efforts

Mideast: Abbas refuses to work with US on peace efforts


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PARIS (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday urged France and Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts, insisting he'll no longer accept any U.S. plans for Mideast peace because of the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Abbas met French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris a day after the U.N. General Assembly resolution denouncing President Donald Trump's decision.

During a news conference, Macron was careful not to take sides, saying "the American mistake was to want to unilaterally manage from afar a situation whose solution is in the hands of the Israelis and Palestinians."

Abbas said the United States is "no longer an honest mediator in the peace process."

"We will not accept any plan from the United States of America because of its bias and violation of the international law," he said.

Abbas also denounced the U.S threat to cut financial aid for countries who voted to back the U.N. resolution. "We call upon countries that did not recognize Palestine yet to do so to preserve the two-state solution before it's too late," he added.

Macron reaffirmed his disapproval of Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital. The French president recalled he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month in Paris and urged him to make "courageous gestures" to help revive peace talks, including freezing Israel's construction of settlements on occupied lands.

EU leaders, including Macron, have reiterated support for establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

On Thursday, the U.N. General Assembly voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions in favor of the non-binding resolution countering the U.S. recognition of Jerusalem.

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Associated Press writers Angela Charlton in Paris and Fares Akram in Gaza City, Gaza Strip, contributed to the story.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Sylvie Corbet

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