Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said that the Oslo peace process with Israel is dead during a meeting on Friday with Member of Knesset, Zahava Gal-On, according to Israel’s Channel 10.
“The Oslo Agreement is dead,” Abbas said while also accusing Israel of failing to follow through with its obligations under the Oslo Accords.
Abbas also conveyed his preference to see another country mediate peace talks instead of the US, in light of US President Donald Trump’s recent announcement officially recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“In several conversations, (Trump) promised a good deal for the conflict, and then came this bad surprise, which we can not accept,” he said. “The United States can no longer mediate between Israelis and Palestinians.”
“We must search for another mediator, a European one, with the Quartet (US, UN, EU and Russia) and Arab states,” he continued.
The PA Chairman’s remarks to Gal-On were made against a backdrop of condemnations from the White House for the PA’s refusal to engage in peace talks with Israel. Abbas however, insisted that the PA never actually wanted to avoid peace talks with Israel.
“We are prepared for negotiations, and we never intended to leave the talks, but regrettably no one is offering us to establish negotiations, especially not the Americans, who now wish to punish us.”
Trump has threatened over the last several weeks, most recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to cut off aid to the PA if it continues refusing to participate in peace talks. The PA however, has continued to remain defiant against Trump.
The PA Chairman was already at loggerheads with the US several weeks before Trump declared Jerusalem to be Israel’s capital, when the Trump administration had revealed its intentions to close the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington, DC.