Reports indicate that Abbas was prepared to meet with the U.S. president in New York or Washington but the request was denied.
By World Israel News Staff
The White House rejected a request from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to meet with President Joe Biden on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Axios reported Wednesday.
Abbas addressed the General Assembly this week on video. According to the report, he and his aides were considering flying to the U.S. to meet with the president either in New York or Washington.
They were told, however, that Biden would be unavailable for any bilateral meetings in New York and there would be no time afterwards in Washington, the report said, citing American and Palestinian sources.
The negative response finalized Abbas’ decision to address the assembly on video.
In his speech at the UN last Tuesday, Biden reiterated his support for a two-state solution, conceding that “we are a long way from that goal at this moment.”
“The commitment of United States to Israel’s security is without question and our support for an independent Jewish state is unequivocal, but I continue to believe that the two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish democratic state, living in peace, alongside a viable, sovereign and democratic Palestinian state,” the president said.
“We’re a long way from that goal at this moment,” he conceded, “but we must never allow ourselves to give up on the possibility of progress.”
In his address, Abbas warned Israel that it had one year to withdraw from Judea and Samaria or the PA would revoke its recognition of the Jewish state and escalate its activities at the International Court of Justice.
“There are some countries that refuse to acknowledge the reality that Israel is an occupying power, practicing apartheid and ethnic cleansing,” he said, in an apparent jibe at the U.S.
“These countries proudly state that they have shared values with Israel. What shared values are you referring to? This has emboldened Israel, only furthering its arrogance and allowing it to reject and violate all UN resolutions.”
“In his speech at the UN, Abu Mazen [aka Mahmoud Abbas] proved once again that he is no longer relevant. It is no coincidence that 80% of Palestinians want him to leave his position,” Israel’s Ambassador to the US and the UN Gilad Erdan stated in response to the PA president’s remarks.
Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr will travel to Jerusalem and Ramallah on Monday for meetings with Israeli and Palestinian officials.