Abbas says America’s role in Middle East peace process is over

Abbas called Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital a “crime” that threatened world peace.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff

Palestinian Authority (PA) head Mahmoud Abbas said Wednesday that the PA will not accept any role for the US in the Mideast peace process “from now on,” following President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Abbas spoke at a gathering of heads of state and top officials from Islamic nations at an emergency summit of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Turkey, in an attempt to forge a unified Muslim world stance against Trump’s move.

Abbas called Trump’s decision a “crime” that threatened world peace. He called on the United Nations (UN) to take charge of the peace process and create a new mechanism, arguing that Washington is no longer “fit” for the task.

The Palestinian leader also said that the Palestinians are committed to a peaceful resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict but that after Trump’s pivot on Jerusalem, Washington is not accepted as a fair negotiator.

Israel the ‘Terror State’

The Istanbul gathering of heads of state and top officials from the 57-member OIC could offer a strong response by the Muslim world to Washington’s move.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan— the current president of the OIC — called on countries to urgently recognize the Palestinian state and Jerusalem as its capital.

Erdogan has been among the most vocal critics of Trump’s announcement. In remarks to the summit, he said Israel is an “occupying state” and a “terror state.”

Earlier, in opening remarks to a pre-summit meeting, Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, told OIC foreign ministers that the US decision aims to “legitimize Israel’s attempt to occupy Jerusalem.”

“They expect the Islamic nation to remain silent,” he said. “But we will never be silent. This bullying eliminates the possibility of peace and the grounds for shared life. The US’ decision is null for us.”

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Lebanon’s President Michel Aoun, Jordanian King Abdullah II and top ministers of numerous nations attended the gathering in Istanbul.

In an emergency meeting in Cairo last weekend, Arab foreign ministers demanded that the US rescind Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

In a resolution long on rhetoric but short on concrete actions, the ministers also called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to adopt a resolution condemning Trump’s decision, but acknowledging that Washington would most likely veto it.

Israel has considered Jerusalem its capital since the state’s establishment in 1948, in line with the city’s role as the eternal capital of the Jewish people dating back to antiquity. In the 1967 Six Day War, Israel reunified Jerusalem and later annexed it.