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Palestinian leader Abbas to address UN on Trump plan, but no vote

Published: Updated:

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will reiterate his rejection of the Trump administration’s Mideast plan in an address to the UN Security Council on Tuesday, but members will not be voting on a draft resolution opposing the US proposal.

President Donald Trump unveiled the US initiative for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 28.

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat denied reports that the draft resolution was pulled because of a lack of support, saying in a statement that the “rumor” the Palestinians withdrew the resolution is “not true and totally baseless.”

He said the draft resolution, which initially said the US plan undermined the Palestinian peoples’ aspirations for independence, is still being discussed and will be put to a vote once those discussions conclude with “a formula that represents our positions.”

The original draft resolution, co-sponsored by Tunisia and Indonesia and backed by the Palestinians, also said the US plan violates international law and Security Council demands for a two-state solution based on borders before the 1967 Mideast war.

The resolution had been expected to be put to a vote on Tuesday when Abbas addressed the council. But diplomats said many of its provisions were not acceptable to European members of the council, who support a two-state solution based on pre-1967 borders, and other council members.

After lengthy negotiations through the weekend, and the circulation of a drastically amended text by the United States, the Palestinians decided against putting any draft in “blue” - a final form for a vote, the diplomats said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the discussions were private.

Erekat said since the resolution hasn’t been put in “blue,” it cannot be said that it was pulled.

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The US plan envisions a disjointed Palestinian state that turns over key parts of the West Bank to Israel, siding with Israel on key contentious issues including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Israeli settlements.

The Palestinians seek all of the West Bank and east Jerusalem - areas captured by Israel in the 1967 Mideast war - for an independent state and the removal of many of the more than 700,000 Israeli settlers from these areas.

But under terms of the “peace vision” that Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner worked on for nearly three years, all Israeli settlers would remain in place, and Israel would retain sovereignty over all of its settlements as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.