Arab League rejects Trump plan; Abbas vows to cut US, Israel ties


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CAIRO — The Arab League rejected as “unfair” a Middle East plan unveiled by U.S. President Donald Trump and called for noncooperation with the U.S. administration, as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas threatened to cut all ties with the Israelis and the United States.

In a final statement on Saturday following an emergency meeting in Cairo, the Arab League Council said the U.S.-Israeli plan “does not meet the minimum rights and expectations of the Palestinian people.”

It asserted that the peace process should be based on the two-state solution in line with international resolutions and the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative to establish an independent Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

It warned Israel against implementing the deal by force and ignoring international resolutions, calling on the international community to resist any measures taken by the Israeli government on the ground.

It said it will turn to the Security Council and the U.N. General Assembly to oppose any plan that is unfair to the Palestinian people’s rights.

Speaking at the meeting, Abbas threatened to cut all ties with the Israelis and the United States in response to what Trump has dubbed the “Deal of the Century.”

Abbas said he sent a message to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and another to the director of the Central Intelligence Agency informing them of the plan to cut ties.

“We are telling you that there will be no relations with (the Israelis) and the United States, including security relations, in light of the fact that previous agreements and international legitimacy resolutions have not been adhered to,” Abbas said.

Trump’s plan foresees Israeli control over the West Bank and Jordan Valley as well as key holy sites in Jerusalem. It would not grant Palestinian refugees the right of return, but does call for the creation of a Palestinian state.

Abbas stressed that the Palestinians still believe in peace and called for the establishment of an international multilateral mechanism to implement the two-state solution.

“There is no room for the ‘Deal of the Century’ on the table,” he affirmed.

Arab League Secretary General Ahmed Aboul Gheit criticized the plan, saying it would lead to a state of apartheid.

“The plan leads to a status that amounts to a one-state situation that comprises two classes of citizens, that is apartheid, in which the Palestinians will be second-class citizens, deprived of the basic rights of citizenship,” he said in his speech.

The U.S. proposal “does not bring about stability or build peace, but sows the seeds for another 100 years of conflict and suffering,” he added.

“The two parties should negotiate by themselves in order to reach a solution which is accepted by both of them,” Aboul Gheit said.

On Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan met Hamas leader Ismail Haniya in Istanbul, according to the Turkish presidency’s website.

Trump’s plan has prompted protests of solidarity in Gaza and fresh exchange of fire between Hamas and the Israeli army.

In a phone call with Abbas on Friday, Erdogan reiterated Turkey’s support for “the Palestinian cause,” according to Erdogan’s office.

Erdogan, a staunch critic of Israel’s policy toward the Palestinians, on Friday lashed out at Arab countries that backed the plan, referring to it as “treasonous.”

He criticized Gulf countries including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that have called on the Israelis and the Palestinians to discuss the plan in direct negotiations.


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