PA pushes for UN Security Council to broker peace talks

After denouncing US as broker for talks with Israel, PA suggests UN Security Council as replacement. 'US-led peace talks have failed.'

David Rosenberg,

Riyad Mansour
Riyad Mansour
UN Multimedia

The Palestinian Authority pushed for a replacement broker for final status negotiations between the PA and Israel, suggesting Thursday that the United Nations Security Council or an expanded version of the Middle East Quartet could serve in place of the US.

Last month, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas denounced the US and President Donald Trump during a two-day conference of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Central Council in Ramallah, calling the decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital a “slap in the face” to the PA.

While the PA has refused to resume negotiations with Israel towards a final status agreement so long as the US remains the broker, the PA had prior to Thursday not offered an alternative nation or body to sponsor talks.

On Thursday, however, the PA’s envoy to the United Nations, Riyad Mansour, suggested the UN Security Council could take the US’ place as broker.

New talks, Mansour said, could “be in the format of the Security Council, that would be something that we will look at seriously.”

Alternatively, the PA envoy suggested a “collective process” led by the Middle East Quartet, expanded to include other nations and international bodies.

The Quartet, formed in 2002, included Russia, the US, the UN, and the European Union.

"We're saying a collective approach involving several players at minimum would have a better chance of succeeding than the approach of only one country that is so close to Israel," Mansour said.

Mansour suggested that China and the Arab League be added to create an expanded Quartet.

"The Quartet plus China plus the League of Arab States plus maybe others ... we could also look at that. Or the collective process might be of the nature of the French Paris conference or international conference."

The PA would not accept the US alone as a broker, Mansour reiterated, calling US-led talks the “failed” approach.

But of course if they started with Jerusalem is off the table and punishing UNRWA ... what is left on the table? They lost the neutrality that is required of any broker that helps two parties to reach a peace treaty."

"The old approach failed, and we're looking for a new approach.”