In his Friday speech to the United Nations General Assembly, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas called for an international conference early next year to hash out a new “genuine peace plan,” the Associated Press reported. In the same speech, he criticized the Persian Gulf states of Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for recently recognizing the state of Israel.
“We will not kneel or surrender, and we will not deviate from our fundamental positions, and we shall overcome,” Abbas said. He continued, saying, “There will be no peace, no security, no stability, and no coexistence in our region while this occupation continues.” In front of him was a plaque that read “State of Palestine.”
Whether the international community is willing to undergo another set of peace negotiations, remains unclear.
The Palestinians rejected President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace plan in January on the grounds that it overwhelmingly favored Israel and didn’t satisfy their own vision of an independent Palestinian state. At the plan’s negotiations, no Palestinian representatives were invited. The biggest sticking point was that the deal would see Israel maintain control over its West Bank settlements, which the United Nations has deemed illegal.
The international community’s reaction to the January plan was mixed.
Jordan, a reliable Arab ally of the U.S., openly rejected the plan because the territory of the proposed Palestinian state did not include the lands seized by Israel in the 1967 Six-Day War. French President Emmanuel Macron, while appreciative of the effort to establish terms for peace, felt that the U.S. should have been more inclusive of the Palestinians in the process, saying, “You can’t get there with just one side.”
The United Kingdom cautiously supported the plan but pushed back against Israeli efforts toward annexing parts of the West Bank. “Any such unilateral moves would be damaging to renewed efforts to re-start peace negotiations, and contrary to international law,” its foreign ministry said in a statement, adding that: “Any changes to the status quo cannot be taken forward without an agreement negotiated by the parties themselves.”
Currently, the Palestinian leadership maintains no formal diplomatic ties with either the U.S. or Israel.
Abbas’ speech follows the aforementioned Arab countries finally recognizing and establishing formal diplomatic relationships with Israel two weeks ago at a historic White House ceremony. This move has been broadly seen as a monumental milestone toward peace in the Middle East, as well as a major foreign policy victory for President Donald Trump in his re-election bid.
For many decades, almost all Arab countries refused to acknowledge the existence of the State of Israel. Today, the only other Arab countries which recognize it are Egypt and Jordan, alongside the new additions.
Egypt recognized Israel following the 1978 U.S.-moderated Camp David Accords between both countries’ respective leaders. Jordan, a major U.S. ally in the region, would later recognize the country in 1994.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.
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U.S. Commerce Department: Chinese firms are supplying Russian entities
On Tuesday, the United States Commerce Department said several companies in China are supplying Russia’s military. The announcement was made alongside a “new round of blacklist restrictions for foreign firms aiding Moscow’s war against Ukraine” reports National Review.
“These entities have previously supplied items to Russian entities of concern before February 24, 2022 and continue to contract to supply Russian entity listed and sanctioned parties after Russia’s further invasion of Ukraine,” stated an official Commerce Department notice posted to the Federal Register.
“Commerce also blacklisted several Chinese companies and Chinese government research institutes for their work on naval-technology and supplying Iran with U.S. tech in a way that harms America’s national security” adds National Review.
Six companies that are helping further the Russian invasion are also based in Lithuania, Russia, the U.K., Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.
National Review reports:
The Commerce Department stopped short of blaming the Chinese government for the sanctions-evasion activity it identified today. Commerce secretary Gina Raimondo previously said that there doesn’t appear to be any “systemic efforts by China to go around our export controls.” The Biden administration has publicly and privately warned Beijing against supporting the Russian war, with White House officials even leaking to the press about an effort to present China’s ambassador in Washington with information about Russian troop movements ahead of the invasion.
While Beijing has not expressed outright support for the invasion, it has used its propaganda networks to back Moscow’s narrative. Meanwhile, top Chinese and Russian officials have moved to solidify the “no-limits” partnership they declared in early February. General secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a call this month, marking the construction of a new bridge between their two countries, during which they reiterated their support for the burgeoning geopolitical alignment.
National-security adviser Jake Sullivan said last month that the U.S. has no indications that Beijing has provided Russia with military equipment. A Finnish think tank, the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, estimated on June 12 that Chinese imports of Russian oil since the outset of the conflict have amounted to $13 billion, making China the biggest consumer of the country’s oil exports. Previously, it was Germany. “While Germany cut back on purchases since the start of the war, China’s oil and gas imports from Russia rose in February and remained at a roughly constant level since,” the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission noted.
Official advisor Anton Gerashchenko tweeted incredible video of Ukrainian soldiers sweeping through fields, writing “this is how our fields are de-mined so that farmers can harvest crops.” On Monday a Russian missile struck a mall in Kremenchuk, Ukraine, where over 1,000 civilians were inside.
“Almost two dozen people were still missing Tuesday one day after a Russian airstrike struck a Ukrainian shopping mall and killed 18 civilians inside…On top of the 18 dead and 21 people missing, Ukrainian Interior Minster Denis Monastyrsky said 59 were injured. Several of the dead were burned beyond recognition” reported the New York Post.
— Anton Gerashchenko (@Gerashchenko_en) June 28, 2022
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