Senate Votes To Limit Trump's Power To Lift Russia Sanctions

Senate Votes To Limit Trump's Power To Lift Russia Sanctions

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced Tuesday the Palestinian Authority (PA) will no longer pursue its policy of paying the families of convicted terrorists, as a result of pressure from the Trump administration.

"President Trump raised his concerns about payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed terrorist acts, and to their families, and emphasized the need to resolve this issue", the White House said at the time.

"They have changed their policy", Tillerson told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Tuesday. He told lawmakers the US government would like to retain the ability to talk to Russian Federation with an arsenal of incentives and punishments at its disposal.

"Testifying before two Senate committees, Tillerson faced tough questions about the administration's proposal to cut funding for the State Department and U.S. Agency for International Development by more than 31 percent in the fiscal year beginning in October..." Citing alleged Russia's "interference" in the 2016 presidential election in the United States, as well as the situations in Crimea and in Syria, the senators say they want new sanctions imposed on Moscow. "They are extremely complex in many regards", he said.

"They have changed their policy", Tillerson said, referring to the Palestinians.

"We are working in a couple of areas in particular to see if we can establish that there is a basis for reestablishing some type of working relationship with the Russian government that is in our interest", Tillerson said.

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday that the US would support efforts by Russian Federation and Ukraine to resolve a yearslong conflict outside of an internationally backed agreement signed by both countries, the implementation of which has always been a USA condition for lifting sanctions against Moscow. "At least I have been informed they've changed that policy and their intent is to cease payments".

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., a member of the Armed Services and Foreign Relations committees, said the Senate has finally confronted Russian Federation.

"They have indicated to me they were in the process of changing that", Tillerson told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Israel, which argues that such stipends promote violence, stepped up a campaign against the fund after a wave of Palestinian attacks began in September 2015.

However, Abbas has taken some steps to stop payments in recent weeks, following meetings he held with President Donald Trump in Washington at the start of May and later the same month when the president visited the region.

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