Abbas: Paris Mideast ‘Peace’ Confab Demands Follow Up

In this handout photo provided by the Palestinian Press Office, President Mahmoud Abbas meets with US Secretary of State John Kerry November 24, 2015 in Ramallah, West Bank. (Photo by Osama Falah/PPO via Getty Images)
Osama Falah/PPO via Getty

TEL AVIV – Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas praised the final communique of the Paris peace summit on Sunday, saying it “reaffirmed” the recent UN Security Council resolution attacking Israeli settlements.

After refusing to come to the bargaining table for years, Abbas also expressed his readiness to suddenly resume negotiations based on parameters outlined in the resolution and in Paris, the Palestinian Authority official news agency Wafa reported.

“Palestine is ready to resume negotiations on all final status issues, to create a full and lasting peace through the framework of an international mechanism and a specific time-frame along international parameters, the Madrid principles, the Arab Peace Initiative, Security Council Resolution 2334 and the Paris declaration,” Abbas said.

He stressed the “necessity of following up the implementation” of Resolution 2334 and the peace summit’s final declaration, which also critiqued the settlement enterprise. Abbas said he would travel to Paris in the near future for a follow-up, and added that he welcomed French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault to Ramallah.

Foreign ministers from around 70 nations, including Secretary of State John Kerry, attended the confab, whose stated aim was to urge Israeli and Palestinian leaders to recommit to the so-called two-state solution. Representatives from the United Nations, European Union, Arab League and Organization of Islamic Cooperation were also in attendance.

However, neither Israel nor the Palestinians had any representation at the conference.

Kerry said the U.S. delegation at the conference worked to prevent “unfair” treatment of Israel at the conference, and insisted that the final declaration include condemnation of Palestinian incitement to violence against Israelis.

“We came in here and where we thought [the final declaration] was unbalanced and where we thought it was not expressing the kind of unity that I talked about, we fought to address it,” he said.

“We didn’t soften it. We did what was necessary to have a balanced resolution. And if you look at it, it speaks in positive ways, rather than negative, to both sides.”

Earlier in the day, Kerry called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to assure him that there would be no follow-up to the peace summit at the UN Security Council.

The Israeli premier told the Secretary of State that the Obama administration had already harmed Israel by allowing the anti-settlement resolution to pass at the Security Council last month.

Israeli officials later said that the joint efforts of the National Security Council, the Foreign Ministry, and the Prime Minister’s Office for a “significant weakening” of the text of the final joint declaration, including the omission of “problematic passages” from UN Security Council Resolution 2334, had succeeded.


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