Palestine president Abbas to visit France, Ireland amid growing US aid cuts
The president of the Palestinian Authority will visit France and Ireland next weekend ahead of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Mahmoud Abbas will make the visits as the United States withholds aid to Palestinians in a bid to force them to negotiate on its controversial Middle East peace plan.
The official WAFA news agency said on Monday that Abbas will meet French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris to discuss the "international response" to the US plan.
"The meeting will also discuss encouraging the French government to recognise the state of Palestine," the report said, citing Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Malki.
The report said Abbas will then travel to Dublin to meet with officials for talks on countering steps taken by the US administration against Palestinians.
The trip will be Abbas' first to Ireland, which has long had strong ties with the Palestinian cause.
Earlier this year, the Irish parliament passed the first reading of a bill banning the import and sale of products made in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
The report added that Abbas will focus on Israeli violations against the Palestinians, including the planned demolition of a Palestinian village in the West Bank, during his speech at the UN on 27 September.
The US on Sunday cut additional aid to the Palestinians for programmes supporting conflict resolution with Israelis, adding to more than $500 million in other cuts.
US President Donald Trump has said he will withhold aid from the Palestinians to force them to negotiate on what he has called the "deal of the century".
The Palestinian leadership cut off contact with the White House after Trump recognised the disputed city of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.
They accuse Trump of blatant bias in favour of Israel and say he is blackmailing them to force them to accept the White House's terms.
In recent weeks, the US government has announced more than $500 million in cuts in Palestinian aid, including cancelling support for the UN agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA.