Abbas says 'urgent' need for UN resolution on Israeli settlements

AFP , Tuesday 12 Apr 2016

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: Reuters)

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said there is an "urgent" need for a UN resolution condemning Israeli settlements, in an interview with AFP ahead of a multi-country diplomatic tour.

"The Security Council is a very important subject because it has now become urgent due to settlement activities and because Israel has not stopped these activities," Abbas said, with the Palestinians currently discussing a new draft resolution at the UN Security Council on the subject.

Abbas also criticised what he said was insufficent action from US President Barack Obama's administration, while at the same time he firmly backed a French initiative to hold an international peace conference this summer.

He spoke late Monday ahead of a tour beginning Tuesday that will take him to Turkey, France, Russia, Germany and New York.

The two-week tour may be among the last chances at renewing peace efforts for the 81-year-old leader.

Peace efforts have been at a complete standstill since a US initiative collapsed two years ago.

Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under international law as well as major stumbling blocks to peace efforts since they are built on land the Palestinians see as part of their future state.

The United States has repeatedly vetoed resolutions opposed by Israel at the UN Security Council, but there has been speculation that Obama could change tack in the waning days of his administration.

Short link: