Several options to kick-start Mideast peace talks — Palestinian UN envoy

UNITED NATIONS: A collective Middle East peace process could be led by the UN Security Council, a “Quartet” expanded to include China and Arab states or an international conference, the Palestinian UN envoy said on Thursday, all options involving the United States.

Palestinian UN envoy Riyad Mansour laid out the possibilities after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last month said he would only accept a broad, internationally backed panel to broker peace talks with Israel.

“We’re saying a collective approach involving several players at minimum would have a better chance of succeeding than the approach of only one country that is so close to Israel,” Mansour told reporters.

The Palestinians are furious at US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in December and cut to US funding for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

Mansour said a collective peace process could “be in the format of the (UN) Security Council, that would be something that we will look at seriously.”

 Published in Daily Times, February  10th 2018.