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Palestinian Leadership Moves Towards Finding 'Alternative Mechanism' for Negotiations

Palestinian Leadership Moves Towards Finding 'Alternative Mechanism' for Negotiations

Wednesday, 20 December, 2017 - 07:00
Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz (right) with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a reception ceremony in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on November 7, 2017. /Reuters Photo

As Washington vetoed a Security Council resolution aimed at protecting the status of Jerusalem, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas sent representatives to Russia and China “to seek an alternative international mechanism” and find a replacement to the United States as mediator in the political process.

In parallel, the UN General Assembly said it would hold an emergency session on Thursday to vote on a draft resolution that rejects US President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

On Monday, the United States vetoed a draft resolution submitted by Egypt during a Security Council session. Yemen and Turkey called for an emergency session of the 193-nation General Assembly, on behalf of the Arab group of states and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.

Member of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Ahmad Majdalani, who traveled to China, said the delegations would convey a message from Abbas about the necessity that the peace process falls within the framework of the United Nations.

Majdalani headed the delegation to China, while Abbas’ foreign relations adviser, Nabil Shaath, led a delegation to Russia. The new Palestinian moves have emphasized the PA’s insistence on boycotting the United States and isolating it from the political process.

Abbas is expected to arrive in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, before heading to France, where he will meet with President Emmanuel Macron.

He was due to visit Riyadh on Tuesday, but the meeting was postponed one day at a Saudi request.

The Palestinian president will meet with the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the latest developments in the Palestinian file in the wake of the US decision on Jerusalem and its veto of the Security Council draft resolution.

Abbas will discuss in Saudi Arabia and France the creation of an alternative international mechanism for the United States, based on the French initiative last year, which ended with a peace conference attended by 25 foreign ministers from Arab and European countries and the United States, but issued a statement without clear mechanisms or time limit.

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