Palestinian leader calls for U.N.-led peace conference early next year
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Palestinian 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 U.N. - and the U.N.
UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Palestinian 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 U.N. - and the U.N. 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."
The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital, all territory captured by Israel in 1967. Palestinian leaders rejected a peace proposal unveiled in January by U.S. President Donald Trump, in which Washington would recognize Jewish settlements in occupied territory as part of Israel.
"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 U.N. 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 1967.
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.
Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz, in his debut speech to the United Nations on Wednesday, said the Arab Peace Initiative is the basis for a "comprehensive and just solution," but also said he supported U.S. peace efforts. He stopped short of endorsing the recent U.S.-brokered agreements.
Saudi Arabia has quietly acquiesced to the deals but has signaled it is not ready to take similar action.
(Reporting by Michelle Nichols, Ali Sawafta and Nidal Al Mughrabi; Editing by Dan Grebler)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.