Palestine ready to talk peace with Israel, if US role reduced

Leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas Monday told London that Palestinians are eager to return to peace talks with Israel under the auspices of a multinational forum with reduced US role, following Washington’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

Abbas told British top diplomat Boris Johnson, in a phone conversation, that Palestinians will resume peace talks with the EU, China and Russia as part of peace brokers, implying a reduction of the US influence.

Following President Donald Trump’s December decision, Palestinians argue that the US has disqualified itself as a neutral broker.

The new talks, according to the Palestinian leader, will be centered on the Arab Peace Initiative proposed in 2002 and endorsed by the Arab League and on international resolutions pertaining to the Israeli-Arab conflict.

The Arab Peace Initiative demands that Israel withdraws from the territories it has occupied since 1967, including withdrawal from the Syrian Golan Heights, to the lines of June 4, 1967, and the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, with east Jerusalem as its capital.

The Arab countries in return will accept Israel’s existence and establish diplomatic ties with the Jewish state.

Abbas who has bitterly rejected Trump’s decision is scheduled to address UN Security Council on February 20. He is expected to make similar demands.

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