Mahmoud Abbas
Photo: Reuters

Abbas: US decision to suspend aid harms peace talks

Palestinian president warns that Washington's decision will impede negotiations with Israel further, 'do a disservice to US, Israel's interests'

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas warned on Friday that Washington's decision to suspend its financial aid to the Palestinian Authority may prove detrimental to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.


Last week, the United States Congress voted in favor of suspending a $200 million aid package to the PA, reflecting congressional anger at Abbas for pursuing the Palestinian bid for statehood at the UN despite Washington's objections.


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"I will not deny that we have a true relationship with the United States, but it is also an ally of Israel," he said.


Washington's financial aid to Ramallah, he added, "serves the Israeli interest as well as their own and that of the peace (process') stability. Suspending the aid will be a disservice to both the peace process and Israel."


  • For full coverage of PA's statehood bid click here


On Thursday, Abbas addressed the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg and urged its members to support the Palestinian bid for statehood.


"You supported the Arab Spring which calls for democracy and freedom," he said. "Now the Palestinian Spring has arrived asking for freedom and an end to occupation. We trust you, and we are confident that you will not abandon us and let us down."


Abbas outlined the PA's "sincere intentions" to negotiate with Israel, saying that the Palestinians' "disappointment of the prospects for negotiations" was the catalyst to the move.


"Our only alternative has been to turn to the international community and call on it to take action to open up new horizons for the peace process, through recognition of the state of Palestine," he stressed.


Meanwhile, the EU said that its Mideast negotiators will meet on Sunday in Brussels, as part of a wider effort to restart the moribund Israeli-Palestinian peace process.


EU spokesman Michael Mann said Friday that the meeting's focus would be to "maintain momentum in encouraging the parties to return to negotiations."


AP contributed to this report




פרסום ראשון: 10.07.11, 10:57
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