Abbas to UN Security Council:
'International community must hold Mideast peace conference'

PA chief tells UN Security Council that international conference focusing on Mideast talks must be organized by mid-2018.

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David Rosenberg, | updated: 19:23

Mahmoud Abbas addresses United Nations Security Council
Mahmoud Abbas addresses United Nations Security Council

Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas called on the international community Tuesday to hold a Middle East peace conference as an alternative to a US-led renewal of final status talks between Israel and the PA.

Speaking at the United Nations Security Council, the 82-year-old PA leader appeared to abandon the traditional bilateral formula for final status talks, saying that a “multilateral international” approach was necessary to restart peace talks.

"To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference," Abbas said at the UN Security Council.

The PA chief also accused Israel of abandoning the two-state solution, saying the Jewish state is “acting as a state above the law.”

"It has transformed the occupation from a temporary situation as per international law into a situation of permanent settlement colonization," said Abbas.

“Israel has closed the door on the two-state solution and is harming it.”

“Netanyahu avoided the Moscow Summit, and the government foiled the efforts of [former] US Secretary of State John Kerry. We never refused peace talks.”

“We refuse violence and we are building schools, hospitals, industrial and agricultural centers, we do not buy tanks and airplanes.”

Abbas has sought an alternative to direct talks with Israel and refused to consider the Trump administration an honest broker for negotiations since President Trump’s December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In January, Abbas denounced President Trump during a meeting of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s Central Council in Ramallah, reiterating his refusal to restart talks under the aegis of the Trump White House.