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Palestinian President Abbas rejects US Mideast plan

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Palestinian President Abbas rejects US Mideast plan

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas vehemently rejected the Trump administration's peace plan in the Middle East, speaking at the UN Security Council on Tuesday, calling it an attempt to prevent Palestinians from having an independent state.

He called for an international conference to seek the two-state solution required in several UN resolutions.

Abbas called the US proposal "an Israeli-American preventive plan to end the Palestinian issue".

He told the Security Council that the plan violates numerous UN resolutions, nullifies Palestinian rights "to self-determination, freedom and independence in our own state" and should not be considered a basis for negotiations.

"I came to you on behalf of 13 million Palestinians to ask for a just peace – that is all," he said.

Israel's ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, criticized Abbas' position and told the council that if Abbas really wanted peace, he should be in Jerusalem talking to President Benjamin Netanyahu – and not at the United Nations.

"Only when it goes down can Israel and the Palestinians move forward," said Danon. "A leader who chooses rejectionism, incitement and glorification of terror can never be a real partner for peace."

Abbas minutes earlier emphasized to the council: “We are fighting terrorism. We are not terrorists. "

He called on the international mediators of the Middle East Quartet – USA, Russia, the European Union and the United Nations – and the Security Council, together with other countries, "to hold an international peace conference … to implement resolutions of international legitimacy" .

He said that "the United States cannot be the only mediator", saying that the Palestinians have tried this before and do not agree to do it again.

US Ambassador Kelly Craft avoided a question about whether Abbas should be at the negotiating table.

President Donald Trump publicized the U.S. initiative to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 28. He envisions a disarticulated Palestinian state that delivers important parts of the West Bank to Israel, supporting Israel on important contentious issues, including borders and the status of Jerusalem and Jewish settlements.

The 15-member Security Council was expected to vote on a resolution co-sponsored by Tunisia and Indonesia and supported by Palestinians who opposed the US plan.

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