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 Abbas says Trump has nothing to offer

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticised US policy yesterday and said of the US plan for Israeli-Palestinian talks: “They want to fool us, they have nothing to offer us.”

Abbas made the comments in a speech to Arab League Foreign Ministers in Cairo. He also met with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

Abbas accused Trump of breaking promises to the Palestinians and making decisions that violate international law. Abbas said: “We met with American administration officials and with President Trump in different places, and we were surprised for the better by his statements. In my fourth meeting with Trump in the White House, I felt that we would be able to resolve the Palestinian problem within half an hour. He informed me that he believes in the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 lines, and he even supported placing NATO troops in the West Bank. Two weeks later we were surprised by the relocation of the American embassy to Jerusalem and the end of aid to the welfare agency.”

On the upcoming US plan, Abbas said: What do they have left to offer us? Is there anything else to offer us that will satisfy us? They’ve taken Jerusalem and the occupied territories, they’ve cancelled the refugees’ rights and recognised the settlements. They want to fool us. They have nothing to offer us, and even if they do want to offer something — it’s going to be worse than anything else.”

Abbas said of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu: “We know from his positions, statements and insinuations that he doesn’t believe in peace between us and them. Therefore, he was always saying that there is no Palestinian partner, although we extend our hand to him for real peace based on international legitimacy.”

An unnamed senior Fatah official told Al-Khaleej Online news that Saudi Arabia was spearheading a campaign with other Arab countries to pressure the Palestinians to accept the US plan. He said: “They are using all means, including political and financial blackmail, to force the Palestinians to accept the deal of the century despite all the dangers it poses to the Palestinian cause.”