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Abbas in rare statement: “We adhere to the culture of peace, despite the pressures to which we are subjected, such as the matter of Jerusalem and the matter of UNRWA funding”

Headline: “In joint press statements with the German foreign minister – the [PA] president: We rely on the role of Europe to reach a permanent and just peace in the region”

“[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas said: ‘We rely on the German and French role, through the European Union, and together with the US, in order to reach a permanent and just peace in the region.’ This was said as part of joint press statements with German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel yesterday [Jan. 31, 2018] at the [PA] presidential headquarters in Ramallah…
President [Abbas] said: ‘We adhere to the culture of peace, despite the pressures to which we are subjected, such as the matter of Jerusalem and the matter of UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) funding. We again emphasize that terror [must be] fought everywhere.’”

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’ statement on “the matter of Jerusalem and the matter of UNRWA funding” refers to US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the US withholding funding for UNRWA.

US recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel - On Dec. 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump formally recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and instructed the State Department to begin preparations to transfer the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Trump added that the final borders of Jerusalem will be determined during negotiations.

In early January 2018, the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) for more than $100 million, as the US administration spoke about reexamining and conducting a reform of the UN body.

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