Abbas says UN should replace US as Mideast mediator


Breaking with years of courting the U.S., Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called Wednesday for the United Nations to replace Washington as a Mideast mediator and suggested he might not cooperate with the Trump administration’s much-anticipated effort to hammer out an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal.

At a summit in Turkey, Arab and Muslim leaders “rejected and condemned” President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — the trigger for Abbas’ sharp policy pivot — but stopped short of backing his more combative approach toward Washington.

A possible Palestinian refusal to engage with the U.S. and growing backlash against Trump’s shift on Jerusalem, including from Arab allies, cast new doubt over the administration’s already seemingly remote chances of brokering a deal and succeeding where its predecessors have failed.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Wednesday the administration would continue to work on a Mideast plan that it believes will benefit Israelis and Palestinians. Referring to Abbas, she said that the “type of rhetoric that we heard has prevented peace in the past, and it’s not necessarily surprising that those types of things would be said.”

In shunning the U.S., Abbas would find himself in uncharted territory.

He does not have an immediate practical alternative to more than two…



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