Tuesday, 24 April, 2018

Trump warns Israel that settlements 'complicate' peace hopes

Abbas seeks India's role in peace talks as Modi makes historic West Bank visit Modi reiterates support for Palestine
Kenny Thornton | 12 February, 2018, 12:51

In December a year ago, US President Donald Trump recognised Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a controversial decision which angered the Palestinians, sparked protests in the Middle East and raised concern that it could further destabilise the already volatile region.

"Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace, they are not looking to make peace. Regarding Israel, I am not certain it, too, is interested in making peace so we will just need to wait and see what happens". We categorically and completely reject [US President Donald] Trump's statements about Jerusalem, his attempts to remove the issue of the city and refugees from the negotiating table, to cut down the funding of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East.

Donald Trump has not expanded on his vision for the Israel-Palestine peace process.

Alexander Shumilin, a Middle East scholar at the Institute for USA and Canadian Studies, called Abbas' visit "an attempt to cosy up to Russia, a consistent ally, and to stop Netanyahu leading Moscow astray during an improvement in Russia-Israeli ties". "I think Bibi Netanyahu is a terrific person, a terrific leader, I think the relationships are good, but I think they will be a lot better if they ever get to making a peace deal", the U.S. leader told Israel Hayom.

Malaysia had strongly protested the decision and voted, along with 127 other countries, at the United Nations general assembly last December in favour of a resolution rejecting US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but USA ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdir was quoted by Sunday Star as saying cooperation between Malaysia and the U.S. were "ongoing".

Trump also noted his "great" friendship with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

On Dec. 6, President Donald Trump reversed decades of American foreign policy and formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Turkey bombs terrorists' positions in Afrin
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has urged Turkey to respect the sovereignty of Syria, a local media reported on Thursday. Ankara labels the US-backed Kurdish forces a "terrorist organization" and is angry with Washington's support for the YPG.

A Palestinian journalist faces angry Israeli occupation soldiers in the West Bank. This includes declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel alone, which Trump has done, halting the UNRWA activity, and the Israeli government declaring a number of settlements annexed to Israel.

With a multi-lateral mechanism, Abbas was referring to a framework that would apparently replace the US' long-standing monopoly as a mediator in the vexed Middle East peace talks.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and proceeded to effectively annex it, in breach of global law. "It was a very important pledge that I made and I fulfilled my pledge", he said.

Speaking further, the top official said that Palestine was cooperating with foreign partners, including Russian Federation, on elaborating a new multilateral format of the Israel-Palestine settlement and would welcome the convening of a large conference in Moscow.

'I think Jerusalem was a very big point and I think it was a very important point, ' he said.

"Russia and Putin can play an important role within the frame of an global forum for peace", Abbas' diplomatic adviser, Majdi al-Khalidi said.

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