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Palestinian president refuses to work with US on Middle East peace efforts

Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas has insisted he will no longer accept any US plans for peace in the Middle East because of the Trump administration's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

During a visit to Paris, Mr Abbas urged France and wider Europe to play a stronger role in peace efforts, as he said the United States was "no longer an honest mediator" in the process.

The Palestinian leader met French president Emmanuel Macron in the nation's capital a day after the UN General Assembly resolution denouncing US president Donald Trump's decision.

During a news conference, Mr Macron was careful not to take sides, saying: "The American mistake was to want to unilaterally manage from afar a situation whose solution is in the hands of the Israelis and Palestinians."

However, Mr Abbas said: "We will not accept any plan from the United States of America because of its bias and violation of the international law."

He also denounced the US threat to cut financial aid for countries who voted to back the UN resolution.

"We call upon countries that did not recognise Palestine yet to do so to preserve the two-state solution before it's too late," he added.

Mr Macron reaffirmed his disapproval of Mr Trump's decision to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The French president recalled he met with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this month in Paris and urged him to make "courageous gestures" to help revive peace talks, including freezing Israel's construction of settlements on occupied lands.

EU leaders, including Mr Macron, have reiterated support for establishing an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel.

On Thursday, the UN General Assembly voted 128-9 with 35 abstentions in favour of the non-binding resolution countering the US recognition of Jerusalem.

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