President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly expected to address the UN Security Council at its February 20 meeting on the Middle East. The move comes amid escalating tensions between the Palestinians and the US since President Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration.

Mahmoud Abbas

Mahmoud Abbas Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will address the United Nations Security Council on February 20, according to a Reuters report. Abbas is expected to speak during the Council’s monthly meeting on Middle Eastern issues.

Abbas’ speech comes amid high tensions between the Palestinians and the US, which have been escalating since US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In January, amid reports that Washington was considering additional cuts to Palestinian aid money, a senior White House official told Reuters that the Palestinian Authority severed its ties with Washington.

The official also said the White House is still committed to working towards a peace plan; however, he stressed that both sides would first need to be ready for such an agreement.

Last week, US envoy to the UN Nikki Haley slammed Abbas during a Security Council meeting following the leader’s controversial speech. “He rejected any American role in peace talks,” said Haley. “He insulted the American president. He called for suspending recognition of Israel. A speech that indulges in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories is not the speech of a person with the courage and the will to seek peace.”