Abbas Urges UN Involvement in Palestinian Statehood Talks

Mahmoud Abbas calls for UN engagement in discussions regarding Palestinian statehood, highlighting the urgency amid ongoing Israel-Saudi normalization negotiations

Abbas Urges UN Involvement in Palestinian Statehood Talks

Credit: Google | Benjamin Netanyahu | Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas delivered a resolute address at the United Nations General Assembly, emphasizing that lasting peace in the Middle East hinges on the realization of full and legitimate national rights for the Palestinian people. Abbas underscored that any notion of peace without these rights would be ill-conceived.

The 87-year-old leader made a passionate plea to UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, calling for the organization to convene an international conference aimed at establishing a Palestinian state. He framed this initiative as perhaps the final opportunity to rescue the beleaguered two-state solution and forestall a further deterioration of the situation that could threaten global security and stability.

Abbas’s address coincided with reports of progress in negotiations between the United States, Israel, and Saudi Arabia regarding the normalization of relations between the latter two nations. Historically, the U.S. has played a key role in facilitating peace talks, but the recent shift in Israel’s leadership towards hard-right policies and the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank have diminished prospects for meaningful negotiations.

Israeli-Saudi normalization, if realized, would significantly reshape the Middle East landscape by uniting two major U.S. allies that have long-standing hostilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with U.S. President Joe Biden during the General Assembly meeting, and on the same day, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hinted at progress in the normalization process.

These discussions are central to a broader negotiation framework that also includes deliberations on U.S. security assurances, civilian nuclear assistance requested by Riyadh, and potential Israeli concessions to the Palestinians.

In another facet of Abbas’s UN address, he requested international protection from what he described as “terrorist Israeli settlers” and Israeli Defense Forces. He urged member states to formally recognize the State of Palestine and grant it full UN membership. Abbas argued that Israel has not adhered to the conditions for acceptance into the UN and called for “deterrent measures” until Israel fulfills UN resolutions.

Highlighting the Palestinian commitment to a “peaceful, popular resistance” against what he termed a colonial occupation that rejects peace, Abbas pledged to continue this approach. He accused Israel of exploiting Palestinian natural resources and held it responsible for the increased violence within Arab cities in Israel this year.

Abbas’s address, while consistent with his previous speeches condemning Israeli actions and calling for international intervention, carried a renewed sense of urgency. He portrayed the Israeli occupation of territories earmarked for a future Palestinian state as a violation of numerous international resolutions and principles. Notably, the Israeli delegation walked out during his speech, particularly when he criticized Israel’s practice of retaining the remains of alleged Palestinian attackers.

As the region grapples with these complex dynamics and the uncertain trajectory of Israeli-Saudi normalization talks, Abbas’s impassioned plea at the UN underscores the deeply entrenched issues that continue to hinder the pursuit of peace in the Middle East.



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