White House Says Abbas’ Rhetoric has ‘Prevented Peace for Decades’

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas addresses the general debate of the United Nations General Assembly on Sept. 20, 2017. Credit: U.N. Photo/Cia Pak.

The White House criticized Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday for his comments against U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying that such rhetoric has “prevented peace for decades.”

“[President Donald Trump] remains as committed to peace as ever. This rhetoric, which has prevented peace for years, is not surprising as we anticipated reactions like this,” said a senior White House official in comments distributed to various media. “We will remain hard at work putting together our plan, which will benefit the Israeli and Palestinian peoples.”

The White official also stated that the Palestinians should “ignore the distortions and instead focus on what the president actually said last week: the specific boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem are subject to final status negotiations between the parties, the United States continues to take no position on any final status issues, and the United States would support a two-state solution if agreed to by both sides.”

The U.S. rebuke came after Abbas stated Wednesday that the Palestinians would refuse any future U.S. involvement in the peace process and threatened that there will be “no peace or stability” in the region until Jerusalem is recognized as the Palestinian capital.

Abbas also said the Palestinians were withdrawing from all peace agreements with Israel since the 1993 Oslo Accords, and that the PA would push for full membership in the United Nations, where the Palestinians currently have non-member observer state status.

Abbas’ comments came during Wednesday’s meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Istanbul, a gathering initiated by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in response to Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.


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