The Arab Parliament upheld regional rejection of the decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, saying it holds the US responsible for its threatening consequences to international security. The parliament further demanded that the UN lead the peace process, after considering the US an unfair mediator.
This came in an urgent session held Monday at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo with the participation of Palestinian Foreign Affairs Minister Riyad Al-Malki and Fatah’s leading member Fatah Azzam Al-Ahmad, the parliament’s official website said. Presidential Spokesperson Nabil Abu Rudeina, Intelligence Chief Maged Farrag and Presidential Advisor Magdy Al-Khaledi are accompanying Abbas, the Palestine News Agency (WAFA) said.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived Sunday in Cairo for a two-day visit, WAFA reported. President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi invited his Palestinian counterpart for discussions over the recent US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A Sunday statement by the Egyptian presidency said the two leaders would hold a bilateral consultation meeting “regarding the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and how to deal with the crisis in a manner that preserves the rights of the Palestinian people” and the right to establishing an independent state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The Palestinian government has stated that it no longer considers the US a mediator of the peace process. Also, Abbas’ meeting with US Vice President Mike Pence is officially off, CNN reported Sunday.
Planned meetings with Pence during his December visit to the Middle East were also rescinded by Egypt’s leading religious figures Ahmed Al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and Pope Tawadros II, head of the Coptic Orthodox Church.
The White House accused the Palestinian Authority of “walking away again from an opportunity to discuss the future of the region,” according to Reuters on Sunday.
Moreover, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Satterfield asserted, in a press briefing Sunday, that direct negotiations under the supervision of the United States was the only solution to the peace process.
Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was in Brussels Monday, urging the EU “to follow US President Donald Trump’s lead and recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” Reuters reported. The EU had expressed “serious concern” about Trump’s announcement, asserting that Jerusalem is the future capital of both states.
Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sameh Shoukry will head a delegation participating Tuesday in the extraordinary summit of the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul. The summit will discuss the repercussions of the US recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, as Shoukry will voice Egypt’s rejection of the decision, spokesperson of the ministry Ahmed Abou Zeid said Monday.