We will not accept any deal that does not account for the results of previous peace talks and resolutions of the UN Security Council, including the demand to stop Israeli occupation and create a sovereign Palestinian state with a capital in Jerusalem.
Sunday, 31 March 2019
Published time: 31 Mar, 2019 15:34
The pro-Israeli bias of Washington under President Donald Trump has become so glaringly obvious that the Palestinian Authority will not accept the US as a mediator in the conflict with the Jewish state, Mahmoud Abbas said.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas criticized the Trump administration in a speech before leaders of the Arab League, who gathered in Tunisia on Sunday for the organization’s annual summit. Abbas accused Washington of enabling “crimes committed by Israel” against Palestinians and international law over the past several years. America’s missteps include moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and rejecting calls to talk about illegal Israeli settlements in occupied Palestinian lands, he said.
The continued bias, according to Abbas, means that the Palestinians will likely reject the deal which the Trump administration is preparing to resolve the decades-long Middle East conflict.
The terms of the promised “deal of the century” remain obscure, while the date it is to be made public has been pushed back several times. The current expectation is that the proposed agreement will be unveiled in early April.
The Arab League summit provided the opportunity for member states to briefly overcome regional rivalries and unite to condemn the US move to recognize Israel’s annexation of Syria’s Golan Heights. The strategically located territory which was discovered to be rich in oil a few years ago has been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 war. No nation except Israel, and now the US, considers it part of Israel.
Published time: 31 Mar, 2019 08:50
North Korea called on Spain to conduct a thorough investigation into a raid on its mission in Madrid, which was said to be done by FBI-linked dissidents, now hiding in the US.
Pyongyang asked Spain to investigate the “grave terrorist attack” and “flagrant violation of international law,” state-run KCNA news agency reported. “This kind of act should never be tolerated,” the statement read.
It was the first time North Korean officials have commented on the mysterious break-in at its mission in Madrid on February 22. A group of intruders subdued and tied up the staff before stealing a number of electronic devices and a trove of documents from the building. They also reportedly tried to persuade a North Korean attaché to defect. A video, allegedly filmed during the break-in, shows men taking down portraits of North Korean leaders and smashing them on the ground.
Spanish media say that 10 suspects fled to the US and a court in Madrid issued arrest warrants against them. The leader of the group was named as veteran dissident and anti-Pyongyang activist Adrian Hong Chang, who is a Mexican national and a US citizen. Two of the other suspects were named as US nationals.
An unexpected twist came several weeks later when the Spanish paper El Pais cited court documents and police sources as saying that the suspects tried to obtain information on the North Korean nuclear program and contacted the FBI after arriving in the US.
The details were partially confirmed by dissident group ‘Cheollima Civil Defense / Free Joseon’, which claimed responsibility for the raid. Its members shared “certain information of enormous potential value” with the FBI, on the Bureau’s request, the group claimed on its website.
The US has denied any involvement with the break-in, and the FBI has refused to comment on the incident.