News / Middle East

    Palestinian Leader Calls For New Peace Plan

    The President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, presides over a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a Palestine Embassy in Brasilia, 31 Dec 2010
    The President of the Palestinian National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, presides over a ceremony to lay the cornerstone for a Palestine Embassy in Brasilia, 31 Dec 2010

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    Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is asking the international community to draft a new peace plan for the Middle East.

    In a speech broadcast Friday to the West Bank, Mr. Abbas criticized current efforts to stabilize the region.  He also accused the United States, the European Union, Russia and the United Nations of managing the Israeli-Palestinian conflict instead of solving it.

    The Palestinian leader called on the powers to formulate a plan based on existing U.N. Security Council resolutions.

    Those resolutions call for an independent Palestinian state based on borders that were in place before the 1967 Mideast war.

    Mr. Abbas also criticized the U.S. for failing to take action against Israel for building settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

    Mr. Abbas spoke from Brazil, where he helped lay the cornerstone for a new Palestinian embassy Friday.

    Jerusalem Correspondent Luis Ramirez speaks with VOA's David Byrd about the state of Middle East peace negotiations:

    The new embassy in the Brazilian capital of Brasilia, will be the first in a Western nation.  The groundbreaking ceremony also featured the release of doves to symbolize peace.

    Brazil announced earlier this month it would recognize an independent Palestinian state based on borders that were in place before the 1967 Mideast war.  Argentina, Bolivia and Ecuador have also said they would recognize Palestinian statehood.

    Both the United States and Israel have been critical of the movement to recognize a Palestinian state.  

    Both Israel and the U.S. say Palestinian statehood must be the result of a negotiated peace deal.

    Mr. Abbas is scheduled to attend Saturday's inauguration of Brazil's president-elect, Dilma Rousseff.

     

    Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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