Mahmoud Abbas wins EU backing for Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem

European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, right, welcomes Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas upon his arrival at the EU Council in Brussels on Monday, Jan. 22, 2018. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that France wants the European Union to start work on an agreement on closer ties with the Palestinian territories, following U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Updated 22 January 2018
0

Mahmoud Abbas wins EU backing for Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem

BRUSSELS: Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas on Monday urged EU member states to “swiftly” grant official recognition to the state of Palestine as he arrived to meet foreign ministers from the bloc in Brussels.
“We truly consider the European Union as a true partner and friend, and therefore we call its member states to swiftly recognize the state of Palestine and we confirm that there is no contradiction between recognition and the resumption of negotiations,” Abbas told reporters.
The 82-year-old Abbas met EU diplomatic chief Federica Mogherini for one-on-one talks before joining the bloc’s 28 foreign ministers for lunch on the sidelines of their monthly meeting, after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a similar trip last month.
Abbas, who came to Brussels in search of European support, said the Palestinians were still committed to the stalled peace process.
“We are keen on continuing on the way of negotiations because we believe it is the only way forward to reach a negotiated solution and peace between us and Israel,” Abbas said before talks with Mogherini.
“Despite the hurdles we can find on our way toward the settlement of this issue we remain committed to fighting terrorism, violence and extremism locally, regionally and internationally.”
Last week Abbas denounced Trump’s peace efforts as the “slap of the century” and accused Israel of ending the Oslo accords that underpin negotiations — which have been effectively frozen since 2014.
But on Monday he said his side were still prepared to stick to past agreements.
“We are committed as well to continued compliance with treaties we signed with Israel but at the same time we call upon Israel to play its part and comply with those treaties,” he said.
Mogherini said the two sides needed “to show more than ever before their engagement with the international community” to work for peace.


Netanyahu’s adviser accused of sexual assault resigns

Updated 13 December 2018
0

Netanyahu’s adviser accused of sexual assault resigns

  • David Keyes, Netanyahu’s spokesman with the foreign press, formally resigned on Wednesday
  • Keyes issued a statement saying he had “decided to pursue new opportunities in the private sector”

JERUSALEM: An adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tendered his resignation following allegations of sexual assault.
David Keyes, Netanyahu’s spokesman with the foreign press, formally resigned on Wednesday, nearly three months after taking a leave of absence after he was accused of sexual assault by at least a dozen women.
Keyes issued a statement saying he had “decided to pursue new opportunities in the private sector.”
Keyes has denied the assault accusations, saying all were “deeply misleading and many of them are categorically false.”
Israel’s Civil Service Commission closed an investigation into the allegations last month without taking any disciplinary action against Keyes.
Netanyahu thanked Keyes in a statement “for his great contribution to Israel’s information effort.”