Abbas Demands Britain Apologize for Balfour Declaration

Palestinian president calls on Arab League to endorse Palestinian position ahead of Trump meeting.

Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 8, 2017.
Britain's Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson at a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 8, 2017. MOHAMAD TOROKMAN/REUTERS

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the Arab states to endorse the Palestinian position on statehood and demanded the United Kingdom apologize for granting the Balfour declaration.

Abbas, who spoke at the Arab League summit in Jordan, said Britain should not celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration, which supported the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Mandatory Palestine, but rather apologize to the Palestinians.

In an interview published Wednesday, Abbas said the Palestinian leadership will not be presenting any new peace plan or diplomatic initiative at the summit, adding that the only initiative on the agenda is the Arab Peace Initiative – unchanged, not even tweaked.

Speaking to with the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad ahead of the Arab summit that began Wednesday morning, Abbas said that by accelerating settlement construction and expropriating Palestinian lands, Israeli policy is creating a reality of a single state  with two regimes, an apartheid regime in a sense.

In the interview, Abbas said he will visit Washington in April, when he is expected to meet U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time since the latter took office, though he did not mention a specific date.