Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud AbbasReuters

The Palestinian Authority (PA) on Sunday started diplomatic steps to hold an international conference at the beginning of 2021 for the peace process with Israel, a senior official said, according to the Xinhua news agency.

The PA mission to the United Nations has begun the preliminary steps with UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and some countries to prepare consultations for the international conference, said Riyad Mansour, the PA’s permanent observer to the United Nations.

The consultations will be held by the European Union and permanent members of the UN Security Council, added Mansour.

On Friday, PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas appealed to the United Nations for an international conference on the Middle East in 2021.

In an address to the General Assembly, Abbas asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convene the meeting on the Palestinian issue "early next year" and bring in "all relevant parties."

The conference, said Abbas, "should aim to end the occupation and grant the Palestinian people their freedom and independence in their own state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital and settle final-status issues, notably the refugee question."

Abbas’ comments followed the agreements that Israel signed with the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain earlier this month on the normalization of ties between those countries.

Abbas has denounced the US-brokered agreements Israel signed with the UAE and Bahrain, saying only an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria can bring peace to the Middle East.

The PA has refused diplomatic efforts by US President Donald Trump, arguing that his administration is biased in favor of Israel.

Abbas has repeatedly pushed for an international conference for peace in the Middle East, aimed at bypassing the US efforts to resume talks.

"The Palestinian-Israeli conflict must be resolved on the basis of the international law and the international legitimacy resolutions," Mansour said on Sunday.

"The Palestinians are looking forward to establishing their independent state on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital," he added.

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