Palestinians will not accept any US peace plan, says Abbas
President calls Washington a 'dishonest mediator' and slams US threats ahead of UN vote on Jerusalem
Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said on Friday that his people would not accept any peace plan proposed by Washington, a day after the UN General Assembly overwhelming rejected Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital despite US threats.
"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from the United States," Mr Abbas said after meeting with French president Emmanuel Macron in Paris.
US president Trump has said his administration was preparing a plan which was expected to be presented to the two sides in 2018. However his announcement on December 6 that the US considered Jerusalem to be the Israeli capital caused outrage among Palestinians, who want the east of the Israeli-occupied city to be the capital of their future state.
Mr Abbas also hit out at efforts by the US to intimidate countries ahead of the UN vote on Thursday.
"I hope that the others will learn the lesson and understand that you cannot impose solutions by using money and trying to buy off countries," the Palestinian president said.
The vote saw 128 countries condemn Washington's new position on Jerusalem despite the US ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, warning that their stance would affect "how Americans ... look at countries who disrespect us in the UN."
Mr Macron repeated his earlier condemnations of the US decision on Jerusalem, but he also ruled out recognising Palestine as a state unilaterally, which France has mooted previously.
"The Americans have marginalised themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing," he said.
"The solution will be built around two states so inevitably there will be a moment in the process when there is recognition. I want to do it at a moment that will help build peace on the ground."
Mr Macron has also ruled out launching a fresh French peace initiative in the short term, saying he is waiting to see what happens with the American effort.
The 40-year-old French leader has stepped up his meetings with leaders from the Middle East in recent weeks, hosting Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Paris less than a fortnight ago and Jordan's King Abdullah on Thursday.
Mr Macron said he would visit the Palestinian territories in 2018.
"I have committed myself very clearly to doing everything" to further the peace process, he said.
Mr Abbas praised Mr Macron's efforts as a mediator.
"We have trust in you. We respect the efforts made by you and we count heavily on your efforts," he said.
Mr Abbas's visit to Paris came a day after talks in Riyadh with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
They discussed the latest developments in the Palestinian territories and intensified practical efforts to ensure the establishment of an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
Saudi foreign minister Adel Al Jubeir and director of general intelligence Khalid Al Humaidan also attended the meeting.
Updated: December 22, 2017 05:48 PM