UN peace envoy ‘no longer acceptable’ to PLO: Official

By Aysar al-Ais and Mohamed Tareq

RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – The Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) has reiterated its objection to dealing with the UN special envoy for Middle East peace, saying he has “gone beyond his role” in seeking agreements between Israel and Hamas.

Ahmad Majdalani, a member of the PLO’s executive committee, told Anadolu Agency Friday that Nickolay Mladenov has overstepped his role through his attempts to mediate between the Palestinian movement and Tel Aviv.

Majdalani confirmed that no Palestinian official had met with Mladenov recently, stressing it will not happen in the future as well.

On Thursday, Palestinian local media outlets reported remarks by Majdalani in which he said that UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has been informed that Mladenov is “no longer acceptable to the Palestinian Authority”.

But the UN denied late Friday that it had been officially informed of the decision by the Palestinian Authority.

Deputy Spokesman for the UN Secretary-General Farhan Haq said late Friday during a press conference in New York that Guterres fully supports Mladenov.

“The UN Secretary General fully supports the efforts of special coordinator Mladenov, who has been working tirelessly with all concerned parties…to change the dynamic in Gaza," Haq told reporters.

In July, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported that Mladenov met with representatives of the Hamas movement in the Gaza Strip following his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Education Minister Naftali Bennett.

Mladenov later announced in a series of posts on Twitter that “constructive” meetings had been held in Israel, Egypt, Gaza and Ramallah to halt the deterioration in Gaza and “resolve humanitarian issues”.