TEL AVIV — Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said from Berlin that the Palestinians were engaged in “spreading a culture of peace,” but the Trump administration is hampering efforts to stabilize the region.
Speaking at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Thursday, Abbas said that the U.S. administration “removed from the negotiating table the issue of Jerusalem, refugees, borders, settlements and security, and took steps that violate international legitimacy.”
“Therefore we demand that negotiations fall under an international umbrella” composed of a quartet of European states and Arab states to guide talks between Israelis and Palestinians, Abbas said, according to the German Deutche Welle daily.
“The Palestinian Authority continues to build national institutions, spread the culture of peace and fight terrorism in the region and around the world,” he declared.
The Palestinian leader called for full international sponsorship of peace negotiations with Israel in accordance with UN Security Council resolutions and for European nations to officially recognize “Palestine.” Doing so, he claimed, would not preclude peace talks with Israel and would “send a message of hope and promote the end of the Israeli occupation.”
The Palestinians “appreciate Chancellor Merkel’s efforts to create multilateral cooperation aside from unilateral solutions to create stability and peace in the world,” he said.
This after Abbas has refused to come to the bargaining table and rejected numerous Israeli overtures.
He thanked Germany for its financial aid. In 2018, Germany gave 110 million euros ($120 million) to the Palestinians, making the country one of the PA’s biggest donors.
Merkel called for a two-state solution to the conflict even if this goal is “increasingly difficult to achieve.”
She promised her government would continue to support the Palestinians’ economic development and civil society.