Abbas to UN Security Council: Israel has thwarted all attempts for negotiations

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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spoke in a rare address before the UN Security council on Tuesday.

Abbas said that Israel has thwarted all attempts for negotiations and it acts as a state above the law.

The Palestinian president called for convening of international Middle East peace conference by mid-2018.

"To solve the Palestine question, it is essential to establish a multilateral international mechanism emanating from an international conference," Abbas told the UN Security Council.

The Palestinians no longer view Washington as a neutral negotiator and have been calling for a collective approach to try and broker Middle East peace.

They are furious at US President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December and cut to US funding for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas called for the recognition of Palestinian statehood as part of a wider Middle East peace process.

He asserted that Jerusalem must be the capital of Palestine and be open to all religions.

The Palestinian president reiterated that the problem is not with Judaism as a religion but with the occupier, whatever his religion.

He added that it is surprising that America continues to consider the PLO as a terrorist organization and obstructs its work, citing a law of the US Congress from 1987.

The Palestinian president said that he would intensify efforts "to demand full membership in the United Nations and to seek international protection," hoping that the States recognize Palestine as "this is not against the negotiations, but rather strengthen them."

(With Reuters & AFP)

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