(February 2, 2018 / JNS) Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is scheduled to address the United Nations Security Council later this month amid growing tensions with the United States.
Abbas, who is scheduled to speak to the international body on Feb. 20, has said that he will ask the Security Council to grant full U.N. membership to the Palestinians and for an international panel to oversee peace talks with Israel.
“This will be a good thing for members of the Security Council to listen to the president himself. No council members rejected this proposal,” said Kuwait’s U.N. Ambassador Mansour Ayyad Al-Otaibi, the council’s president during February, Reuters reported.
The Abbas speech will come amid increasing tensions between the United States and the Palestinians in recent weeks. President Donald Trump has threatened to withhold aid to the Palestinian if they do not restart peace negotiations. The U.S. is by far the largest donor to the Palestinians, providing some $5.2 billion since 1994 in bilateral economic assistance and humanitarian aid according to the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem.
Last week, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley blasted Abbas for lacking “the courage and the will to seek peace.”
However, Abbas said that following Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem in early December that the U.S. has taken itself “off the table” as a fair peace mediator.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.N. Danny Danon said that Abbas is “seeking to put an end to any possibility of negotiations with Israel” with his address to the Security Council.
“Abbas is completely misreading today’s reality and harming the prospects for a better future for his people,” Danon said in a statement.