Cyril Ramaphosa
Cyril RamaphosaReuters

African leaders on Sunday condemned US President Donald Trump’s Middle East peace plan as “illegitimate” and voiced solidarity with “the Palestinian cause”, AFP reports.

African Union (AU) Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat told assembled heads of state that the so-called “Deal of the Century” represented the “umpteenth violation of multiple United Nations and African Union resolutions.”

He said that it was prepared without international consultation and that it “trampled on the rights of the Palestinian people”, a line that drew applause in the main hall at AU headquarters, noted AFP.

The outgoing AU chair, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, said in his remarks Sunday that “the Palestinian cause will always be in the hearts and minds of the people of Africa”.

His successor, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, compared Trump’s proposals to regulations in place during his country’s apartheid period.

“As I listened to it and as I read everything that’s written about it, it brought to mind the horrible history that we in South Africa have gone through,” he charged.

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas rejected the US peace plan outright, stating that the plan would be relegated to the "dustbin of history."

Abbas regularly attends AU summits but did not travel to Ethiopia this year. The PA chairman is travelling to the United Nations this week to push for a Security Council resolution condemning Trump's peace proposal.

The resolution, according to reports on Sunday, was softened from its original wording and has dropped its initial condemnation of the Trump peace plan.

Abbas was represented at Sunday’s AU meeting by PA cabinet leader Mohammad Shtayyeh, who reiterated PA leaders’ position that the Trump plan “has no legitimacy whatsoever”.