Abbas seeks Qatar's support for international peace conference

In the context of his effort to improve Palestinian relations with the Arab countries, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas began a two-day visit to Qatar, where he met on Monday with the country’s emir, Sheikh .Abbas’s visit, the first since November 2019, comes in the aftermath of the normalization agreements between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco.Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani earlier this month ruled out the possibility that his country would normalize its relations with Israel. “Right now, I don’t see that the normalization of Qatar and Israel is going to add value to the Palestinian people,” he said.During the meeting with Abbas, the Qatari emir affirmed his country’s “firm position on the Palestinian issue and its support for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem as its capital, in accordance with international legitimacy resolutions, the two-state solution and the Arab Peace Initiative,” the Qatar News Agency reported.Endorsed by the Arab League in 2002, the Arab Peace Initiative offers normalization of relations by the Arab world with Israel, in return for a full Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of a Palestinian state.The PA leadership has accused the Arab countries that established relations with Israel of acting in violation of the Arab Peace Initiative. The Qatari emir’s pledge to abide by the Arab Peace Initiative is seen by Palestinians as an indication that Doha does not intend to normalize its relations with Israel.Relations between the PA and Qatar have been strained in the past few years due to Doha’s financial and political support for Hamas, the Islamist movement that controls the Gaza Strip.

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if(window.location.pathname.indexOf(“647856”) != -1) {console.log(“hedva connatix”);document.getElementsByClassName(“divConnatix”)[0].style.display =”none”;}PA officials have accused Qatar of “solidifying” the split between the West Bank and Gaza Strip by supporting Hamas.The officials have criticized Qatar for delivering cash grants to the Gaza Strip through Israel in the past year. They also expressed dissatisfaction with Qatar’s role in brokering the ceasefire agreement between Israel and Hamas last September.Palestinian sources said that Abbas is hoping that Qatar would provide financial aid to the PA in wake of the economic crisis it’s facing due to the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.Abbas, the sources added, is also seeking Qatar’s support for his initiative to convene an international conference for peace in the Middle East early next year.“President Abbas is aware that Qatar, which has good relations with the US and Israel, would be able to play a role in pushing forward the idea of the international parley,” the sources explained. “He further wants Qatar to use its strong ties with Hamas to end the rivalry between his Fatah faction and Hamas.”Last month, Abbas visited Jordan and Egypt, where he met with King Abdullah II and President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and discussed with them his plan to hold an international conference for peace in the Middle East. It was Abbas’s first trip abroad since the outbreak of the coronavirus earlier this year.Abbas’s talks with King Abdullah II and Sisi came in the context of Palestinian efforts to prepare for dealing with a new US administration under President-elect Joe Biden, according to a Palestinian official in Ramallah. “The talks in Jordan and Egypt were successful because the two countries reiterated their support for the two-state solution,” the official said. “The Palestinian leadership wants the Biden administration to abandon [US President Donald] Trump’s plan for Mideast peace, the so-called Deal of the Century, which was actually the plan of the right-wing government in Israel.”
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