Neither Israelis nor Palestinians looking to make peace

15 February, 2018, 07:51 | Author: Barbara Daniel
  • Trump Suggests Kushner's Middle East Peace Negotiations Are Doomed, Warns Israeli Settlements Are an Obstacle to

At the same time that Jerusalem and Washington were exchanging press releases on Israel's annexation bill, a Russian news agency reported that President Donald Trump spoke on the phone with Russian President Vladimir Putin about the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

"President Trump reiterated the importance of taking further steps to ensure the denuclearisation of North Korea", the White House said in a statement about the call with Putin.

Trump last month accused Russian Federation of helping North Korea evade worldwide sanctions meant to punish Pyongyang for its pursuit of a nuclear-armed missile capable of reaching the United States.

But on December 6 previous year Trump threw the peace process into turmoil when he declared Washington's official recognition for Israel's claim to Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas has refused any contact with Trump's administration since Washington's decision at the end of a year ago.

Trump and Putin last spoke in December, when Putin called Trump to thank him for a Central Intelligence Agency tip that was said to have helped thwart bombings in St Petersburg.

According to a Reuters report, Abbas and Putin spoke about the USA role in Mideast peace negotiations during a conference in Moscow.

It seems Vlad is acting as something of a go-between with the Palestinians, who are enraged by Trump's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

In turn, the Russian president likened antisemitism to "Russophobia" and said Russia and Israel were "cooperating closely", particularly against "attempts to falsify history".

Trump offered Putin U.S. assistance in the ongoing investigation into the crash of Saratov Airlines Flight 703, according to a White House readout of the call.

Abbas responded that the Palestinians don't want to cooperate with the United States as a sponsor of the peace process, but welcome multilateral cooperation. Egypt said the USA must restart talks between Israel and Palestine, according to Palestine's official WAFA news agency.

Abbas' visit comes just a week after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Abbas in Ramallah as part of the diplomatic campaign to find multinational backers for a Palestinian state.

Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Middle East conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem - now occupied by Israel - might one day serve as the capital of a Palestinian state.

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