RAMALLAH, February 8, 2017 (WAFA) – President Mahmoud Abbas Wednesday separately cabled the European Union’s (EU) top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, and Pope Francis for their support of the Palestinian cause.
In his letter to Mogherini, Abbas expressed his appreciation for her condemnation on behalf of the EU of the so-called Regularization Law.
“We would like to express our profound thanks to you over the EU position that came in your statement regarding the Israeli parliament’s law legalizing settlements in private Palestinian land, which is unprecedented,” Abbas said in the letter.
“This decision taken by the Israeli government among other decisions declaring the construction of thousands of new settler units is a major setback to peacemaking efforts and will undermine the two-state solution, which will have implications on the region and world in general,” he added.
Abbas expressed hope “to work with you in the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 2334 in order to maintain the potential for just and comprehensive peace.”
Separately, Abbas expressed his heartfelt gratitude for Pope Francis over US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ statement urging US State Department not to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Chairman of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on International Justice and Peace Bishop Oscar Cantú of Las Cruces reportedly called upon US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not to relocate the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.
“Relocating the embassy to Jerusalem is tantamount to recognizing Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel,” Bishop Cantú said in a letter to Tillerson. “Moving the embassy to Jerusalem would erode the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution, and is a threat to pursuing peace and ending conflict.”
“Settlement expansion, confiscation of lands and the building of the Separation Wall on Palestinian lands violate international law and undermine a diplomatic solution,” Bishop Cantú added, as he recalled the suffering of Christians affected by the wall in the Cremisan Valley near Bethlehem.
In his letter to Pope Francis, Abbas thanked the Holy See “for your efforts and work for peace.”
He expressed hope that the Pope will “continue with his efforts for peace in the region through preserving the two-state solution, which is beginning to disappear as a result of Israeli policies that violate international law, including the building of a wall in the Cremisan area in Beit Jala that disposed 58 Christian families that will lead them to despair and immigration.”