Palestinian leader rules out US as mediator

TEL AVIV, Israel (HPD) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas used a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday to criticize the United States, telling his interlocutor that he has no faith in Washington as a Middle East peace broker.

Abbas spoke with Putin on the sidelines of a regional summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. His comments about the United States, traditionally the main intermediary between Israel and the Palestinians, come at a time when relations between Washington and Moscow are at one of their worst levels due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“We don’t trust the United States,” said Abbas, speaking in Arabic, as Putin looked on. “We do not accept the United States, under any conditions, as the only party in the solution of the Middle East problem,” he added.

He said that the Palestinians would only consider the United States as a mediator if it were part of the “Quartet,” a group of nations that includes Russia.

With Thursday’s meeting, Abbas became one of the few world leaders to meet with Putin since Russia launched its war in Ukraine in February. In his comments, Abbas did not mention the war, nor did he in a statement released later by his office.

Abás’ statements reflect his frustration with the United States, which has moved away from his mediation in Levante. Instead, Washington is more focused on other pressing issues, such as the war in Ukraine, relations with China, and economic problems.

The comments also follow a crisis of confidence between the two sides after the Trump administration cut funding to the Palestinians and launched pro-Israel policies, including moving the US embassy to the disputed city of Jerusalem.

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