Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Palestinians to ask Putin to step into peace process

Palestinians to ask Putin to step into peace process

Trump triggered global anger even from some allies when he defied advice against recognising Jerusalem as Israel's capital by moving the American embassy there, a move analysts said had undone decades of efforts to foster peace in the region. He said relations between Israel and the United States now are "as good as they ever have been".

"The Palestinian side insists of forming a multilateral approach to overlook the peace process with the Israeli side" in an attempt to disregard the U.S. from its former role in the peace process, he said.

Malaysia had strongly protested the decision and voted, along with 127 other countries, at the United Nations general assembly last December in favour of a resolution rejecting US' recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, but USA ambassador Kamala Shirin Lakhdir was quoted by Sunday Star as saying cooperation between Malaysia and the U.S. were "ongoing". "When I think of the likely consequences I think this is more ambivalent", Gabriel said. And I think it was a very important point. This is namely liquidating the Palestinian cause, refraining from giving the Palestinian people their rights back and taking important issues, particularly the Jerusalem and refugees issues, off the table.

When asked when the USA will unveil its peace plan, the president responded by saying: "We are going to see what goes on".

"I have been thanked and in some cases not thanked, to be 100% honest about it".

"I mean you certainly weren't very close with Obama, he gave you the Iran deal, which basically is a deal that says let's ultimately do bad things to Israel", Trump said. He has been persistent ever since, but continues to make it clear that he will only support a deal agreed to by both sides: a first by the United States and by anyone else involved thus far in the process.

Judging by the bitter and frustrating experiences over the past half century of Israeli occupation of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, I don't quite see Israel withdrawing from the occupied Palestinian territories by peace negotiations.

Trump's ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, has in the past been a supporter of settlements in the West Bank. "I think we are very good partners and friends, so we can have frank conversations when we disagree".

Asked whether Israeli settlements would form part of the peace plan, he said: "We will be talking about settlements".

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