German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel, left, meets with the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank Town of Ramallah, Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2018. (Atef Safadi/Pool Photo via AP)
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to respond to Trump at U.N.Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is coming to the U.N. Security Council later this month to respond to the Trump administration's declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and Israel's expansion of settlements – a rare appearance reflecting escalating tensions over peace prospects. Kuwait's U.N. Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaibi, the council president for February, told a news conference Thursday that his government invited the Palestinian leader to address its monthly Mideast meeting on Feb. 20 and believes it will be "important" and "beneficial" for members.The Palestinians are also angry at the Trump administration's announcement last month that it is withholding $65 million of a planned $125 million funding installment for UNRWA, the U.N. agency that helps an estimated 5 million Palestinian refugees.Al-Otaibi said Carter has followed the Palestinian question for a long time, his position against Israeli settlement expansion is well-known "and we believe that he does a role to play, he can give his opinion, and that's why we decided to invite him".He said it's still unclear whether Carter will attend, or whether Abbas will stay to participate.
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