Abbas calls for international conference on Jerusalem

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‘We want multilateral mediation’ in Israel-Palestine talks, says Palestinian leader

Abbas calls for international conference on Jerusalem

By Elena Teslova

MOSCOW

President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday called for holding an international conference on the status of Jerusalem.

The conference must derive a new mechanism for the Israel-Palestine talks, Abbas said in a news conference in Moscow after meeting Grand Mufti of Russia Rawil Gaynetdin.

The new mechanism, according to the Palestinian leader, must include Russia, the U.S., the EU and major Muslim countries in the talks process.

“We do not reject the U.S. but we do not want the U.S. to be a sole mediator. We want multilateral mediation following the international conference that can take place either in Moscow or in Paris,” he said.

Gaynetdin, for his part, pledged extensive support from Russia.

He called the U.S. intention to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem as “provocative”.

“Jerusalem must keep its official status confirmed by the UN resolution and supported by the majority of countries. East Jerusalem is a capital of Palestine”, said Gaynetdin.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s Dec. 6 announcement of the change in U.S. policy on Jerusalem sparked worldwide criticism.

On Dec. 21, the UN General Assembly overwhelmingly adopted a Turkish-sponsored resolution rejecting Trump’s move by a vote of 128-9, with 35 abstentions.

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