Abbas denies refusing talks with Israel

PA chairman denies US claims that the PA refused to enter peace talks with Israel, says he is ready for talks.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Friday denied US claims that the PA has refused to enter peace talks with Israel, The Associated Press reported.

Abbas’ denial came after talks in Paris with French President Emmanuel Macron. Abbas asked Macron to pass the message onto US President Donald Trump, according to AP.

US National Security Adviser John Bolton said earlier this month that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) mission in Washington was being shut because the PLO hadn’t taken steps toward negotiations.

Abbas said in response that “we didn’t reject negotiations as the Israelis claim,” adding that the Palestinian side is “ready for any confidential or public talks.”

The PA chairman further said “the Europeans are working seriously to substitute and fill the American (funding) gap” after the Trump administration canceled over $200 million in aid for the PA.

Despite his claims otherwise, Abbas has continuously chosen to impose preconditions on talks with Israel rather than heeding Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's call to negotiate.

His comments come as the Trump administration continues to prepare its plan for peace between Israel and the PA. Abbas, however, has rejected the plan before it has even been unveiled.

Abbas has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)