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Abbas calls for multilateral peace efforts
March 22 2018, 05:47 | Irvin Gilbert
Archaeology Under Fire
Addressing the council Tuesday for the first time since 2009, the longtime Palestinian leader is expected to call for multiple worldwide powers to facilitate peace negotiations and again criticise the United States controversial recognition of Jerusalem as Israel s capital.
He is making his case to the U.N. Security Council.
He repeated the Palestinian demand that East Jerusalem become the capital of a future state, while totting up the 705 General Assembly resolutions and 86 Security Council resolutions that have been passed in his state's favour. "No country alone can solve a regional or global conflict without the participation of other worldwide partners".
"Israel is acting as a State above the law".
He said Israeli occupation has become a "colonisation of permanent settlements". "How can this happen?"
In his briefing to the Security Council last month, he referred to plans by the Israeli Government to approve construction of additional settlements and said the construction is illegal under worldwide law.
The Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and United Nations resolutions call on countries to refrain from moving their embassies to the city until its status is resolved in an Israeli-Palestinian deal. He also visited the European Union, where he urged member nations to grant official recognition to the state of Palestine.
"That's why he's going to the United Nations - to complain", said Mkhaimar Abusada, a political scientist at Al-Azhar University in the Gaza Strip. "In this regard, the Russian administration's proposal to hold a direct meeting between the heads of Palestine and Israel seems to be the most relevant".
US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said the Security Council spent a disproportionate amount of time listening to Israel-Palestine issues. He also criticized Palestinian leaders for spending hundreds of millions of dollars on weapons and tunnels instead of on improving the lives of their people.
"Mr Abbas, you have made it clear with your words and with your actions that you are no longer part of the solution, you are the problem".
"We welcome you as the leader of the Palestinian people here today", Haley said.
On Thursday, the UNSC president Kuwait, joined by Bolivia, France and Sweden, is expected to host an Arria-formula meeting on "Prospects for the two-state solution for peace".
"We never refused to sit at the negotiating table; this is the only way to reach peace", he said. The law comes ten years after Israel's Supreme Court repealed a decision to strip four East Jerusalem Palestinians of their residency.
She set out a choice of two paths for the Palestinian leadership, between "hateful rhetoric" and "incitement to violence" or negotiation and compromise.
"We are ready to undertake the longest journeys to the farthest places in the world in order to realize our rights", he said.
"But we will not chase after you", Haley said.
Haley also disparaged the repetitive nature of the meeting's rhetoric, opening her statement by saying, "this session on the Middle East has been taking place each month for many many years, its focus has been nearly entirely on issues facing Israelis and Palestinians, and we have heard numerous same arguments and ideas over and over again, we have already heard them again this morning".
Greenblatt and Kushner later met with council ambassadors behind closed doors to discuss USA peace efforts, but they did not provide specific details of the Trump plan.