PA official: End the 'colonial occupation'

PA continues diplomatic campaign aimed at enlisting support for its demand for an international framework for peace.

Dalit Halevi,

Riyad Al-Maliki
Riyad Al-Maliki
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

Riyad al-Maliki, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of foreign affairs, said on Thursday that the city of Al-Quds (the Arabic name for Jerusalem -ed.) is an important part of the dignity, identity and religion of the Palestinian people.

His remarks came in a speech before a meeting in Cairo of the Arab League's foreign ministers.

Maliki called on the international community to create a new diplomatic framework based on the decisions of the international institutions which would bring to an end to "the Israeli colonial occupation of the land of the State of Palestine and establish Palestinian sovereignty over all Palestinian land that has been occupied since 1967, headed by eastern Al-Quds.”

He criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's recent decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and called it "a dangerous and unprecedented breach of the foundations of international law and UN resolutions dealing with Al-Quds."

Maliki said that, with this move, the U.S. had lost its credibility as a sponsor of the peace process.

Following Thursday's meeting, Arab foreign ministers called for the creation of a UN-backed "multilateral mechanism" to help revive the peace process between Israel and the PA.

They also asked for an international conference to be held to re-start peace talks between Israel and the PA and the international recognition of a Palestinian state with eastern Jerusalem as its capital, reported AFP.

Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit told a news conference the peace process should not remain "within the hands" of one faction alone.

Following Trump's Jerusalem move, an angry PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared that he would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States following the Jerusalem recognition.

On Thursday it was announced that Abbas will deliver a rare address to the UN Security Council on February 20.

Abbas is expected to respond to Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital as well as Israeli “settlement expansion”.








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