Published: Mon, April 03, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Abbas: No New Peace Plan in Works With Israel

Abbas: No New Peace Plan in Works With Israel

Trump later told Reuters news agency in an interview he liked the concept of a two-state solution, but he stopped short of reasserting a U.S. commitment to eventual Palestinian statehood, saying he would be "satisfied with whatever makes both parties happy".

Arab leaders gathered Wednesday for an annual summit where the call for Palestinian statehood is to take center stage.

The statement added that while in Washington Abbas will look to "influence" the administration as it forms a position regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the Israeli-Arab conflict.

Jordan's King Abdullah II, who hosted the summit, said the creation of a Palestinian state remained the basis of any solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Furthermore, Abbas is supposed to travel to Washington in April and have personal meetings with President Donald Trump regarding the Israel-Palestine conflict.

His comments echoed recent suggestions by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that arriving at peace with the Palestinian first needs a regional initiative.

It calls on "all countries to respect UN Security Council resolutions that reject Israel's annexation of occupied east Jerusalem" and "not to move their embassies" from Tel Aviv to the Holy City.

The summit's closing statement said "peace is a strategic option" for Arab states.

At the end of the Arab League Summit in Jordan, Abbas told AFP that Trump's administration is "seriously considering a solution" for the conflict. Jerusalem is home to a major Muslim-run site - the Al Aqsa Mosque compound - that is also revered by Jews as their holiest site and home of their biblical Temples. The summit declared its opposition to countries moving their diplomatic missions in Israel to Jerusalem.

Arab leaders also took the opportunity to strenuously urge other countries not to relocate their Israeli embassies to Jerusalem, a clear reference to Trump's recent talk of moving the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Ja'afari has called on Arab countries to help Baghdad in its fight against Daesh and not to allow the Takfiri terrorist group to introduce itself as their representative.

Despite demands for urgent political reform to tackle the region's challenges, including high unemployment and widespread gender inequality, the optics of the summit signalled business as usual.

Without mentioning Syria's president Bashar Al Assad, King Salman told the summit that Syrian "people were subjected to killing and displacement" in the seventh year of the country's civil war. The leaders around the table were all men, majority elderly. The fighting pits Hadi's troops, backed by a Saudi-led global military coalition of mostly Arab states, against Shiite Houthi rebels, led by Abdul-Malek al-Houthi and backed by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh and his forces. Relations between these two pillars of the Arab world have been tense over Syria, with Egypt open to considering a political future for Mr Al Assad and Saudi Arabia - and other Gulf states - firmly opposed to the idea.

Syria, which has been suspended from the Arab League, was not invited.

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