Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has made an impassioned call on the United Nations (UN) to organise an international conference to launch a “real” peace process between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
Abbas also said that the Palestinians have started to express their anger and despair over the regional position towards their cause. He added that the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) has not mandated any party to speak in the name of the Palestinian people.
The Palestinian leader made his call during a speech before the UN General Assembly, on Friday, in which he called upon UN Secretary General António Guterres to work with the Quartet on the Middle East to prepare for the conference.
All involved parties in the Palestinian Cause are invited to the meeting. The Quartet includes the United States (US), Russia, the European Union (EU) and the UN.
Abbas’s announcement came just a few days after two Arab states, the UAE and Bahrain, signed respective peace agreements with Israel. In the past month, both countries declared a normalisation of their ties with Tel Aviv, despite neither country ever having engaged in warfare with Israel.
Palestinians and pro-Palestine movements worldwide condemned the signing of the peace agreements, describing them as treason to Arab values and goals.
US President Donald Trump, who engineered the Israeli agreements with the two Gulf states, said that other Arab countries are on the road to join the four Arab states who have proclaimed ties with Israel. Egypt and Jordan have already signed peace treaties with Tel Aviv, following the 1973 war.
Some analysts stated their belief that Saudi Arabia would be the next country to normalise ties with Israel. However, in the lead up to the UN conference, King Salman bin Abdul Aziz has already said that the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002 is the basis for a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian Cause.
The Saudi monarch noted that he welcomes the “US peace efforts”, despite not being ready to follow UAE and Bahrain in normalising with Israel.
“There will be no peace, security, stability, or coexistence in our region with the existence of the occupation, and without a fair and comprehensive solution to the Palestinian Cause, which is the basis of the conflict,” Abbas said, in his virtual participation at the UN meeting.
He noted that the Palestinians remain committed to the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002, which was set up by Saudi Arabia. The initiative saw Arab countries offer to normalise relations with Israel, in exchange for an agreement to declare the State of Palestine and Israel’s full withdrawal from the territories it occupied in 1967.
Abbas expressed his side’s readiness to hold presidential and parliamentary elections with the participation of “all” factions, to let the attempts to write off Palestinians fail.
In the meantime, the two major Palestinian movements, Fatah and Hamas, concluded their talks in Istanbul, Turkey. The two sides have announced their agreement on a vision related to ending the division, which will soon be presented in a comprehensive national dialogue.
Istanbul hosted the two sides just a few days after President Abbas requested Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s help to organise the Palestinian elections, and provide needed international supervision on the process.
On Tuesday, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs Riyad Al-Maliki announced that Palestine would give up the presidency of the Arab League Council for the current session. The decision comes as a protest against the organisation not condemning the UAE and Bahrain’s normalisation with Israel.