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Delegation from Congress, US-Jewish Organization Visits West Bank

Delegation from Congress, US-Jewish Organization Visits West Bank

Thursday, 21 February, 2019 - 12:45
Abbas gestures during a meeting of Fatah Revolutionary Council, in Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank February 6, 2019. REUTERS
Ramallah - Kifah Zboun
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has said peace with Israel is on the verge of collapsing.

“These days, peace is on the verge of collapsing, and we count on you very much to make efforts whether in the US administration and in Congress or even with Israelis to convince them that peace is of interest for the US, the world and us,” Abbas told a delegation from US J Street (A US-Jewish organization) and several Democratic congressmen on Tuesday.

After Abbas congratulated the elected Congress members and welcomed them in Ramallah alongside the Jewish lobby, he expressed regret that relations with the United States have reached this point.

He also told them that his doors are still open for talks if the US administration changes its stances on the two-state solution and Jerusalem.

During his four meetings with US President Donald Trump, Abbas affirmed he was always optimistic, adding that he asked Trump in their last meeting if he believes in the two-state solution and 1967 border and the latter’s answer was “yes."

“He told me ‘of course, and I am ready to announce that now,’” Abbas said.

“I asked him if he agrees on the fact that security needed by Palestinians and Israelis could be provided by NATO forces, and his answer was ‘yes,’” Abbas further noted.

“However, two weeks later, he announced transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem, declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, agreed on 1967 settlement in the Palestinian territories and then cut the aid provided to UNRWA, which has been given since 1949 to this day following a UN resolution. We were surprised,” Abbas explained.

He then added that he informed Trump of his country’s decision to cut relations with the US if it doesn’t recognize the two states based on the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine.

“We haven’t received a response, and we stick to our stance.”

Abbas also accused the United States of being biased to Israel and not heeding Palestinian demands.

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