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Abbas Says Palestinians Will Not Accept Any U.S. Peace Plan

Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas speaks during a press conference in Paris on December 22.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas says that the Palestinians "will no longer accept" any Middle East peace plan proposed by the United States.

Abbas spoke in Paris on December 22, a day after the UN General Assembly passed a resolution rejecting the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

"The United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from the United States," Abbas said after a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron.

U.S. President Donald Trump announced on December 6 that the United States now recognizes Jerusalem as Israel's capital and will move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv, triggering international condemnation and protests across the Muslim world.

Macron said that France remains committed to a "two-state" solution in which Israel and Palestine peacefully coexist side by side.

He said that France would recognize a Palestinian state "at the right time" and not under pressure.

"The Americans have marginalized themselves and I am trying to not do the same thing," Macron told a joint news conference with Abbas.

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called on the United States to reverse the decision and discussed the issue in a telephone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"The U.S. should turn back from this wrong step," Erdogan said at a meeting of his AK Party in Istanbul.

He said the UN took an "honorable" position "despite threats," a reference to Trump's suggestion that the United States could cut off financial aid to countries that voted in favor of the resolution.

A total of 128 countries backed the nonbinding resolution to reject the U.S. decision, while nine voted against and 35 abstained. Twenty-one countries did not cast a vote.

In their telephone conversation on December 22, Erdogan and Putin discussed Middle East peace efforts "in the context" of the UN resolution, the Kremlin said on its website.

It said they agreed that Russia and Turkey "will continue to foster a solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict based on international legal norms and the realization of the Palestinian people's right to the creation of an independent state."

With reporting by AFP and Reuters
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