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Saeb Erekat, the secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, said he believes U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley should “shut up” and stop criticizing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
According to The Times of Israel, Erekat's comments about Haley were a reaction to a speech she delivered to the U.N. on Jan. 25.
She criticized Abbas for rejecting the U.S.'s role in peace talks, insulting President Donald Trump, and calling for the suspension of Israeli recognition.
Haley said if Abbas can be a leader reminiscent of other Middle Eastern leaders who have made peace with Israel, “we would welcome it,” but she added that he's demonstrated “the total opposite.”
“Nikki Haley needs to shut up and realize that the Palestinian leadership is not the problem,” the Times of Israel reported Erekat saying. “Instead, the problem is the Israeli occupation and the policies it continues to pursue.”
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He added that every government, including the PLO, “makes mistakes” but contended the U.S. is attempting to stage a “coup” to overthrow Abbas.
“She called for overthrowing the democratically elected Palestinian president,” Erekat said. “The Palestinians are the only ones who are entitled to hold their leaders accountable.”
The Palestinian official added that they don't want a confrontation, but the U.S. is “taking several steps.”
“The U.S. administration is itself saying that it’s not an honest broker in the peace process,” he said. “Therefore, we are seeking, together with international parties, to convene an international conference for peace.”
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