Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas declared on Friday that he would "no longer accept" any peace plan proposed by the United States, in the wake of President Donald Trump's decision on to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it," Abbas said at a press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron, according to AFP.
Macron reiterated his condemnations of the U.S. decision on Jerusalem, but also ruled out recognizing “Palestine” as a state unilaterally. A PA official recently said France would be willing to recognize “Palestine”, if other European countries join it in doing so.
"The Americans have marginalized themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing," Macron said Friday, conscious that any move to recognize “Palestine” would antagonize Israel.
Macron and Abbas’s meeting came a day after 128 members of the United Nations, including France, voted to condemn Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem.
Abbas's visit to Paris has raised speculation about whether Macron might be tempted to mediate in the Israel-PA conflict.
Macron’s predecessor, Francois Hollande, proposed a peace initiative but that appeared to have been shelved since Macron took over.
The French president and French diplomats have ruled out any new French initiative, insisting that the American effort must run its course first.
Abbas praised Macron at the Paris news conference on Friday, saying, "We have trust in you. We respect the efforts made by you and we count heavily on your efforts.”
Macron replied that he had "committed myself very clearly to doing everything" to further the peace process and would visit the region in 2018 and "intensify" contacts between the French and Palestinian governments.
"Palestine is not on its own. We will work so that it can live within sound and recognized borders, in security alongside Israel, with Jerusalem as the capital of the two states," Macron tweeted afterwards.
The PA has reacted angrily to Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem, saying he can no longer be a mediator in talks. The PA had planned to boycott a visit to the region by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence, which was ultimately delayed to the vote on the budget in Washington.
(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.)