Palestine Ready to Exchange Minor Territories With Israel – Abbas

Palestine Ready to Exchange Minor Territories With Israel – Abbas
AFP 2018/ EMMANUEL DUNANDMiddle East21:53 20.02.2018(updated 21:54 20.02.2018) Get short URL



Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas addressed a meeting of the UN Security Council Tuesday, urging the international body to recognize the state of Palestine.

“We are determined to remain committed to the political and legal path, far from any violence, through political negotiations and dialogue which we have never rejected… We are ready to exchange territories with Israel, but on a small scale and within the framework of the bilateral agreement,” Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said. 

But Abbas said he would oppose any solutions that contradict Palestine’s legitimacy as a country.

“I call upon members who have yet to recognize the state of Palestine to do so. In the future, we will intensify our efforts to achieve membership in the United Nations,” Abbas stated.

Palestine is going to make stronger efforts to be recognized as a full member of the United Nations, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told the UN Security Council. The Palestinian leader said recognition does not contradict negotiations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

READ MORE: Palestine Sides With Syria in Opposing Israeli Attacks on Sovereignty — Official

In November 2012, the United Nations General Assembly decided to give Palestine the status of a “non-member observer state.” However, the country failed to join the UN as a full member in 2011 because it did not received enough support from the Security Council.

Relations With the US

US-Palestinian relations deteriorated over Donald Trump’s decision on December 6 to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the US embassy there. The move drew sharp condemnation from Palestinian leaders and sparked a wave of protests and clashes, with Palestine officials claiming that from that moment, the US can’t mediate the negotiations. 

After months of tensions amid the Jerusalem row, US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley clarified Washington’s current stance on the issue in her address to the UN Security Council:

“The United States knows the Palestinian leadership was very unhappy with the decision to move our embassy to Jerusalem. You don’t have to like that decision. You don’t have to praise it. You don’t even have to accept it, but know this — that decision will not change.” 

READ MORE: No Arab State to Agree With Trump’s Jerusalem Decision — Palestine’s Ambassador

In a speech to the Israeli Parliament in January, Vice President Mike Pence said the US Embassy in Jerusalem would open before the end of 2019.

Tuesday’s Security Council meeting was attended by senior White House officials including Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and top adviser of President Donald Trump.