Abbas Meets UN Chief Ahead of Meeting Trump, UN Address

Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas at press conference in Bethlehem. (Photo: Thayer Ghanayem. WAFA, file)

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas met on Tuesday with Secretary-General of the United Nations Antonio Guterres on the sideline of the 72nd UN General Assembly meeting in New York.

Abbas and Guterres reportedly discussed the latest developments in the political process and intra-Palestinian reconciliation efforts, which comes after the Hamas movement called the Palestinian Authority (PA) to assume its responsibilities in the Gaza Strip and cancel recent punitive measures imposed on Palestinians there, now that Hamas has disbanded its administrative committee that runs the coastal enclave.

During Abbas’ stay in New York, the Palestinian president also reportedly met with the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, and discussed the Palestinian issue and Israel’s illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territory.

He also met Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, King Abdullah of Jordan, Prime Minister of Belgium Charles Michel, President of Brazil Michel Temer, and Lebanese President Michel Aoun, among others.

Abbas is expected to meet US President Donald Trump Wednesday afternoon and address the UN at 7 p.m. Jerusalem time.

During the meeting with Trump and the following speech, Abbas is reportedly expected to recommit himself to a peaceful settlement with Israel, Palestine’s head of delegation to Washington, Ambassador Husam Zomlot, told Voice of Palestine radio.

Meanwhile, a public opinion poll released by the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research on Tuesday showed that two-thirds of Palestinians demand the resignation of Abbas and half of the public views the Palestinian Authority as a burden on the Palestinian people.

The poll further showed that if a new presidential elections were held today and only Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh and Abbas were nominated, the former would receive 50 percent of the vote and the latter 42 percent of the vote — compared to 45 percent each three months ago.

(Maan, PC, Social Media)

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