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Abbas: US Can No Longer Assume Mediation Role, Trump’s Decision is a Sin

Abbas: US Can No Longer Assume Mediation Role, Trump’s Decision is a Sin

Thursday, 18 January, 2018 - 07:45
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during Al-Azhar Conference in Support of Jerusalem, in Cairo, Egypt. (Mohamed Abd El-Ghany/Reuters)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on Muslims and Christians to visit Jerusalem in support of its people and its Arab and Islamic identity.

His remarks came during an international conference organized by Al-Azhar University in Cairo on Wednesday, in response to US President Donald Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“We will not trust the United States because it does not respect any decisions concerning Palestine, and is no longer suitable to assume the mediation role,” he said.

The Palestinian president said that the last round of confrontations between the Palestinians and Israelis “confirmed our right to call for the sons of our Arab and Islamic nations, Muslims and Christians, to visit the holy city in support of its people.”

Al-Azhar International Conference in Support of Jerusalem kicked off on Wednesday under the patronage of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, in cooperation with the Council of Muslim Scholars and attended by a large number of scholars, clerics, intellectuals and writers. The conference extends over two days, with the participation of delegations from 86 countries including Saudi Arabia.

Abbas described Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel as “sin”, adding that the US, through this decision, has violated international law and challenged the will of the Arab and Islamic people.

He noted that the UN General Assembly issued 705 resolutions on Palestine and the Security Council has adopted 86 resolutions since 1948, but these decisions have not been implemented on the ground.

Abu Mazen emphasized that the US has dissociated itself from the Peace process through “this dangerous decision and is no longer fit to play the role of mediator.”

Palestine “will return to use strong means to defend its rights. We will not resort to terrorism and violence; we will continue to raise our demands peacefully until our rights are achieved,” he stated.

During his meeting with Abbas, the Egyptian president underlined Cairo’s firm stance and its efforts to reach a just and comprehensive solution that guarantees the right of the Palestinian people to establish their independent state based on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital.

He also emphasized the need to preserve the historical and legal status of the city of Jerusalem within the framework of international references and the relevant UN resolutions.

Ambassador Bassam Radi, spokesman for the Egyptian presidency, said that the two presidents held a session of talks during which they reviewed the latest developments on the Palestinian issue.

Sisi also met on the sidelines of the conference with the Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Marzouk Ghanim.

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