Palestinian President Abbas meets Putin to discuss USA mediation role

The Palestinian Authority has been widely criticised for maintaining security coordination with Israel

The Palestinian Authority has been widely criticised for maintaining security coordination with Israel

In an interview published on Sunday, Mr Trump also told an Israeli newspaper that he was sceptical that either side - Palestinians or Israelis - were ready to make peace.

Israel and the United States have long opposed an global effort involving the United Nations in peace negotiations, expressing concerns it would be biased against Israel.

Like we said: awkward...

"Right now, I would say the Palestinians are not looking to make peace, they are not looking to make peace", he told the Hayom, which is owned by American billionaire and Trump backer Sheldon Adelson. "Trump can hardly blame Israel now for not fully engaging the peace process-he clearly has yet to do so himself".

Abbas has refused any contact with Trump's administration since Washington's decision at the end of a year ago. It was a very important pledge that I made and I fulfilled my pledge'. It's unclear whether their visit was directly related to the new buzz about Israel considering an action to annex settlements in the occupied West Bank, which would nearly certainly kill an Israeli-Palestinian peace process that's already on life support.

"Besides that, the recent declaration of President Trump in December 6 that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel had proofed that the United States is not a fair and serious mediator in sponsoring a serious peace process in the Middle East".

During Haley's speech to the United Nations on January 25, she encouraged leaders to acknowledge the U.S.'s efforts in promoting peace in the Middle East while simultaneously denouncing the recent actions of Abbas, who has shown that peace may not be his top priority.

More than 600,000 Jews live in around 140 settlements which are considered illegal under global law and were built since Israel's occupation in 1967 of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Like Obama, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton before him, Trump fingered the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria (the so-called "West Bank") as glaringly problematic.

"I think both sides will have to make hard compromises to reach a peace agreement", Trump added.

Phone calls between the two leaders have received heightened attention due to the federal investigation into Moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign was involved. Putin said Trump wished Abbas "all the best".

The move outraged Palestinians and others across the Muslim world. Trump, in one of his tweets, also accused the Palestinians of not showing enough "appreciation or respect" to the U.S. after he had taken "the toughest part of the negotiation off the table".

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