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    Russia May Hold 1st Meeting on New Mideast Talks - Palestine President's Adviser

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia may host the first new meeting on the issue of the Middle East, Palestinian presidential adviser Nabil Shaath said Tuesday.

    "No, we don’t want Russia [to conduct the talks] alone. Because we don’t want to fall into the same problem. We want an international forum with Russia as a party to that forum. To make the first meeting in Moscow is something that was decided in Madrid in 1991 and in Annapolis 2005," he told reporters.

    He added that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas may visit Russia soon.

    "He has been in Moscow several times and he will come back. I think there is a bond between him and Moscow and he will come back but he sent me ahead of him because he had to go to Saudi Arabia and Qatar, which he has visited already and he is now on his way to Paris. We have to divide the work between us," he told reporters.

    Speaking about the US role in the crisis settlement, the adviser said that Washington has lost its neutral status in the Middle East settlement talks.

    "Against the backdrop of the decision of [US President Donald] Trump to reach a century deal, and then, instead of being an honest intermediary, Washington has become biased by completely taking the side of Israel," Shaath said at a press conference organized by the Rossiya Segodnya International Information Agency, commenting on Trump's Jerusalem move.

    According to the adviser, if Washington "played a role of an honest mediator," the Middle East settlement would have brought some results.

    READ MORE: Russia Calls for Prompt Start to Direct Israel-Palestine Talks — Lavrov

    "When the president says that he recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, without taking into account its status especially for Muslims and Christians, it becomes impossible for us to treat the United States as an intermediary. This completes the role of the United States as an intermediary," Shaath stressed.

    Shaath also stated that Palestine advocated reviewing the Oslo Accords between Palestine and Israel, signed in 1993-1995, which provided for creation of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) and the launch the so-called Oslo process, aimed at achieving peace agreement between Israel and Palestine.

    According to the official, Palestine may again apply for full UN membership in January 2018.

    "We will apply again to the Security Council and America will veto it and we will apply again. We will keep going," Shaath told reporters, adding that the next time the country applied could be "next month."

    READ MORE: Iran, Turkey Slam US Veto on Jerusalem Resolution

    The statement came just a day after the US vetoed an Egypt-drafted resolution on the status of Jerusalem, prompting harsh condemnation of the Palestinian leadership, with Abbas' spokesperson saying that the move is "unacceptable and threatens the stability of the international community because it disrespects it".

    Speaking at the UNSC meeting, a Palestinian representative in the UN stated that by vetoing the resolution, "the US chooses to ignore international law."

    The resolution, proposed by Egypt last week, "affirms that any decisions and actions which purport to have altered, the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council." The resolution calls on all countries not to recognize any decisions or actions that contradict UN resolutions and to "refrain from creating diplomatic missions in Jerusalem."

    Tags:
    Mahmoud Abbas, Palestine, Russia
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