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Abbas calls for international Mideast peace conference by mid-2018

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During a rare address to the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an international Middle East peace conference to be convened by the middle of this year.

The Palestinians no longer view Washington as a neutral negotiator and have been calling for a collective approach to try and broker Middle East peace.

They are furious at U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and cut to U.S. funding for the U.N. agency that helps Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday, during a U.N. Security Council Middle East meeting, that U.S. negotiators were “ready to talk, but we will not chase after you.”

U.S. President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, and U.S. Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt sat behind Haley at the Security Council meeting. Kushner and Greenblatt are working on a new Middle East peace plan.

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