Abbas calls Trump's peace efforts 'slap of the century'

Abbas calls Trump's peace efforts 'slap of the century'

Abbas calls Trump's peace efforts 'slap of the century'

Abbas also said Israel had "ended" the landmark Oslo peace accords of the 1990s with its actions, while branding the U.S. ambassadors to the United Nations and to Israel, Nikki Haley and David Friedman, a "disgrace".

Last December, Palestinian President Abbas announced a meeting of the PLO Central Council to discuss steps to be taken against U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Hamas said would not send representatives to the council meeting because it objected to Abbas' decision to hold the meeting in the occupied West Bank.

This is unedited, unformatted feed from the Press Trust of India wire.

Abbas said USA peace efforts for the Middle East and the Jerusalem decision amounted to the "slap of the century".

Speaking at a key meeting on the White House's declaration of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, President Abbas called for an internationally-led process and reiterated not to accept the Trump administration as a mediator in peace talks with Israel.

During the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly said his administration would make the "ultimate deal" by brokering a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

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"We are in a very risky stage", Abbas said.

However, The New York Times reported earlier that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman may have attempted to offer Abbas a deal that would likely not be popular among Palestinians because they would not be given East Jerusalem for their capital Palestinian refugees and their descendants wold not be given the right to return.

Leaders of Hamas movement and Islamic Jihad said on Friday that they won't attend the two-day meetings of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Central Council scheduled for next week.

Hugh Lovatt, Israel and Palestine Project Coordinator at the European Council for Foreign Relations, said while the speech was full of rhetoric, there was little noticeable policy.

Hamas signed an agreement past year to reconcile with the Palestinian Authority, but the pact has not been implemented as gaps remain over issues that include Abbas's demand that the group's militia surrender its weapons. "To there we have to advance, with or without the Palestinians".

"But it was removed from the map with a tweet from Mr. Trump", he added. Trump threatens to cut funding to the authority because negotiations have failed.

Trump said in a Twitter message last week that the USA gives the Palestinians hundreds of millions of dollars each year and gets "no respect or appreciation".

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