Mahmoud Abbas seeks Russian help over Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration

Mahmoud Abbas and Vladmir Putin

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas visited Russia a fortnight ago to seek Vladmir Putin’s support following Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.

The Palestinian premier visited Moscow on Monday 12 February, two weeks after Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu visited Russia.

President Abbas has refused any contact with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration since Washington’s declaration of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel last December.

Abbas spoke at the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday 20 February.

Some Palestinians saw Washington’s decision as a hindrance to years of US-led diplomacy, as well as a rejection of their claim to East Jerusalem as the capital city of a future Palestinian state.

Israel took control of East Jerusalem in 1967’s Six-Day War, subsequently annexing it and later declaring it as the indivisible capital of Israel.

The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, has accused President Abbas of “lacking the courage” needed to forge a peace deal with Israel.

In response, Abbas has rejected any mediation by the U.S. in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and has promised Palestinians to work towards full recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations.

Prime Minister Netanyahu visited Russia on Monday 29 January and along with Putin, attended a memorial ceremony at the Jewish museum in Moscow for the victims of Nazi camps.

During their meeting, Netanyahu accused Iran of wanting to “destroy” the Zionist entity.

In response, the Putin compared anti-Semitism to “Russophobia” and said Russia and Israel were “cooperating closely”, particularly against “attempts to falsify history”.

 

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