Speaking at a summit in Turkey on Wednesday, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas asked the United Nations to replace the United States as the mediator of a peace deal between Palestine and Israel, the Associated Press reports. The U.S. has led efforts to negotiate a peace treaty between the two states for over 20 years.
It is the latest in a series of escalating hostilities shown by foreign leaders after President Donald Trump announced last week that the U.S. would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Dozens of political and religious officials, including French President Emmanuel Macron, Pope Francis, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and King Abdullah of Jordan have all publicly decried Trump’s decision, which they say will stoke conflict between Christian and Muslim residents of the region. Others said it displays a clear pro-Israel bias in the administration’s Middle East policy.
Speaking to Pacific Standard, Ofer Zalzberg, a senior analyst on Israel/Palestine at International Crisis Group, a think tank that studies international conflict resolution and prevention, warned that the Trump administration will “have to issue a major corrective” to Palestinians if it wants mediation to continue.