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September 25, 2020 12:38 pm

Palestinian Leader Abbas Calls for UN-Led Peace Conference Early Next Year

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas holds a map while speaking during a Security Council meeting at the UN headquarters in New York, Feb. 11, 2020. Photo: Reuters / Shannon Stapleton.

Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday called for United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convene an international conference early next year to launch “a genuine peace process” between Israel and the Palestinians.

Abbas urged Guterres to work with the Middle East Quartet of mediators — the United States, Russia, the European Union and the UN — and the UN Security Council on a conference “with full authority and with the participation of all concerned parties, early next year, to engage in a genuine peace process.”

“There will be no peace, no security, no stability and no coexistence in our region while this occupation continues and a just, comprehensive solution to the question of Palestine, the core of the conflict, remains denied,” Abbas told the 193-member UN General Assembly in a video pre-recorded due to COVID-19.

He said the Palestinians remained committed to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, drawn up by Saudi Arabia, in which Arab nations offered to normalize ties with Israel in return for a statehood deal with the Palestinians and full Israeli withdrawal from territory captured in the 1967 Six-Day War.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain signed agreements last week to establish ties with Israel, becoming the first Arab states in a quarter century to break a longstanding taboo. The Palestinians denounced the move.

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