Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is willing to work with President-elect Donald Trump to reach a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.
Abbas spoke Saturday at an event marking the anniversary of his Fatah party, in which he declared 2017 would be the year ‘of the independent Palestinian state’.
‘We want to emphasize our willingness to work with the newly-elected American administration…to achieve peace…based on a two-state solution,’ he said.
Abbas thanked the US for its UN abstention vote last week, which allowed the Security Council to adopt a resolution declaring Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to be illegal.
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Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he is willing to work with President-elect Donald Trump to reach a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel
Abbas thanked the US for its UN abstention vote last week, which allowed the Security Council (pictured) to declare that Israeli settlements in territory claimed by Palestinians were illegal
‘The settlements are illegal, and in recent days, we were given an unprecedented decision regarding this issue,’ he added.
Although Abbas is willing to work with Trump, it will remain to be seen if the president-elect will feel the same way.
Trump blasted the UN after the landmark Security Council vote, saying it only causes ‘problems’.
‘The UN has such tremendous potential. Not living up to its potential,’ Trump said in a brief statement to the press outside his Mar-a-Lago resort club in Palm Beach, Florida. ‘There is such tremendous potential, but it is not living up.’
‘When do you see the United Nations solving problems?’ he asked. ‘They don’t. They cause problems.’
‘So if it lives up to the potential it’s a great thing. And if it doesn’t it’s a waste of time and money.’
Trump blasted the UN earlier Wednesday in a pair of tweets that claimed the US is no longer Israel’s friend, but that Israel should ‘stay strong’ until his January 20 inauguration
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his own thanks to Trump for his ‘clear-cut support’ of Israel
Trump said President Barack Obama had called him earlier that day but the current and future president only ‘had a very general conversation. Very, very nice.’
He didn’t elaborate on any discussions the two may have had about a lengthy afternoon speech in which Secretary of State John Kerry defended Obama’s decision to withhold the traditional U.S. veto and allow the UN resolution to pass unopposed.
‘I think the secretary’s speech really spoke for itself,’ Trump said in response to a question about Obama’s phone call.
But in typical Trump fashion, the president-elect made his thoughts clear about the UN resolution on Twitter.
‘We cannot continue to let Israel be treated with such total disdain and disrespect. They used to have a great friend in the US,’ he wrote.
‘But…not anymore. The beginning of the end was the horrible Iran deal, and now this (U.N.)! Stay strong Israel, January 20th is fast approaching!’
Trump said President Obama called him for a ‘general’ discussion on Wednesday and would only say of Secretary of State John Kerry’s defense of the UN vote that it ‘really spoke for itself’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tweeted his own support for Trump.
‘President-elect Trump, thank you for your warm friendship and your clear-cut support for Israel!’ he wrote, also tagging Trump’s daughter Ivanka in the post.
Netanyahu called the recent UN resolution ‘skewed’ and ‘shameful’, saying he believes any negotiation with Palestine should come without international pressure.
The prime minister is in opposition of marking the final border between Israel and Palestine to the pre-1967 lines that came before the Six Day War.
Palestinians are seeking the West Bank and East Jerusalem for an independent state.
Trump’s election platform didn’t mention a Palestinian state and his choice for ambassador to Israel has strong ties to the West Bank settler movement.