Middle East Maneuvers Will France Assume Larger Role in Peace Process?

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), December 27, 2017 | Go to article overview

Middle East Maneuvers Will France Assume Larger Role in Peace Process?


The world continues to react to President Donald J. Trump's Dec. 6 declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and that the United States will be moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Fortunately, so far, most of the reaction to the change in U.S. policy has been largely nonviolent and focused, for the most part, at the United Nations, in the Security Council and the General Assembly. The U.N. - a place for countries to blow off steam without too much real damage to working relations - again is justifying its existence.

At the same time, there has been some violence and other real damage as well. The Palestinian Authority's acting president, Mahmoud Abbas, has rejected continued U.S. leadership in the so-called Middle East peace process based on America's new position on Jerusalem.

Mr. Abbas has said he would not meet with Vice President Mike Pence, whose trip to the Middle East this month was postponed.The White House said the trip was moved to January so Mr. Pence last week could remain in Washington during the vote on the tax plan, but it is hard to see either a change of position on Mr. Abbas' part, given the Palestinians' and some of the Arabs' strong feelings about Jerusalem, or a trip to the Middle East for Mr. Pence without a meeting with Mr. Abbas.

The United States was forced to veto an otherwise unanimous statement by the U. …

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Middle East Maneuvers Will France Assume Larger Role in Peace Process?
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