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US Envoy to UN: Abbas Lacks Courage to Seek Peace With Israel

FILE - U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks at a U.N. Security Council meeting in New York, Dec. 8, 2017.

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley took aim at Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas Thursday, saying he lacks the courage to seek peace with Israel. Her comments come after President Donald Trump threatened to cut aid to the Palestinians if they do not pursue peace with Israel.

Ambassador Haley's remarks, at a regular Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian situation, focused on the Palestinian leader.

"Real peace requires leaders who are willing to step forward, acknowledge hard truths, and make compromises," Haley said. "It requires leaders who look to the future, rather than dwell on past resentments. Above all, such leaders require courage."

Haley praised slain Egyptian president Anwar Sadat and the late King Hussein of Jordan as two such courageous leaders.

Both men signed peace deals with Israel. In Sadat's case, the 1979 peace agreement became a contributing factor in his assassination two years later.

"I ask here today, where is the Palestinian King Hussein? Where is the Palestinian Anwar Sadat? If President Abbas demonstrates he can be that type of leader, we would welcome it. His recent actions demonstrate the total opposite," she said.

President Abbas has rejected the Trump administration's December 6 decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy there. He cancelled a meeting this month with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who was in the region and has said the U.S. can no longer be an acceptable mediator in the peace process.

Haley said the United States would not "chase after" a Palestinian leadership lacking what is necessary to achieve peace. She added that the United States remains "fully prepared and eager" to pursue a peace deal.