White House: European Nations Know They Can’t Replace U.S. as Lead Mideast Peace Broker

Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (C) sits alongside European Council President Donald Tusk (L) and Romanian President Klaus Iohannis at Jerusalem's Mount Herzl national cemetery during the funeral of former Israeli president Shimon Peres on September 30, 2016. / AFP / POOL / ABIR SULTAN (Photo credit should read ABIR SULTAN/AFP/Getty …

The Times of Israel reports: WASHINGTON — European countries do not think they can replace the United States as the main broker of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, a senior White House official said Tuesday, pouring cold water on efforts by Palestinians leader Mahmoud Abbas to court the EU as a replacement for the US.

“There isn’t a single European country or other country we’ve spoken to since the December 6 announcement that in any way, shape or form believes a US-led process could be replaced,” a White House official told reporters during a briefing Tuesday. “They all want to work with the US, despite the Palestinian reaction.”

Since Trump’s Jerusalem decision last month, the Palestinian leadership has refused to meet with US officials on peace talks and has repeatedly said the US can no longer be an honest mediator in the conflict. While US Vice President Mike Pence was in Israel this week, Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority, snubbed him and instead flew to Brussels trying to woo the European Union to take from Washington its mantle of main sponsor of the peace process.

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