May 3, 2018 / 1:03 PM / 3 months ago

Britain says Abbas Holocaust remarks 'deeply concerning'

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain said on Thursday that recent remarks by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the Holocaust were “deeply concerning” and unhelpful to peace in the region.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas waves in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank May 1, 2018. REUTERS/Mohamad Torokman

Israel has accused Abbas of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial after the Palestinian leader suggested in a speech that historic persecution of European Jews had been caused by their conduct.

“Palestinian President Abbas’s comments at the Palestinian National Congress were deeply concerning. Any attempt to justify or explain away any element of the Holocaust is unacceptable,” Britain’s Middle-East minister Alistair Burt said in a statement.

“President Abbas has shown a commitment to non-violence and a two-state solution. But his recent rhetoric does not serve the interests of the Palestinian people and is deeply unhelpful to the cause of peace.”

Reporting by William James, editing by Estelle Shirbon

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