WH: Europe knows it can't replace US

White House official says PA knows US can't be replaced in peace process despite running to Europe for support.

Gary Willig ,

Trump meeting Abbas last year
Trump meeting Abbas last year
Flash 90

European nations know that they cannot replace the role of the United States in the Arab-Israeli peace process, the White House stated Tuesday.

“There isn’t a single European country or other country we’ve spoken to since the December 6 announcement that in any way, shape or form believes a US-led process could be replaced,” a White House official told reporters at a briefing Tuesday. “They all want to work with the US, despite the Palestinian reaction.”

“I don’t think anybody believes the US can be replaced in this process,” the official added. “Frankly, I don’t believe the Palestinians believe the US can be replaced in this process.”

Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas has rejected US mediation since US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel last month.

Abbas has sought to replace the US with a mediator who would force Israel to accede to his maximalist demands.

On Sunday, the PA’s foreign affairs chief Riyad Al-Maliki told AFP that the “rules of the game” had been fundamentally altered by President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital.

"Since Trump's decision has altered the rules of the game, he (Abbas) expects the European foreign ministers to come forward and collectively recognize the state of Palestine as a way to respond to Trump's decision," Maliki said.

"If the Europeans want to be a player then they have to be fair in their treatment of both parties and this should start with the recognition of the state of Palestine.”

While EU Foreign Affairs High Representative Federica Mogherini expressed support for Abbas' demands, Tuesday's announcement indicated that EU support would not extend to a willingness to replace the US as the principle peace broker.

Mogherini herself stated that “No effort will ever bring the two sides at the table if the international multilateral framework does not include the United States."

A White House official confirmed earlier Tuesday that relations between the White House and the PA have been cut off since Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

PA officials refused to meet with US Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Israel this week and Israeli Arab MKs boycotted his Knesset speech.