Palestinians freeze ties with US

Palestinians freeze ties with US

The Palestinian leadership has frozen communications with the Trump administration following the White House's threat to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in Washington.

"What is the use of holding any meetings with them when they close our office?" he told AFP.

While the United States does not recognize statehood for the Palestinians, President Bill Clinton waived a 1980s-era law that barred them from having an office and allowed the PLO, which formally represents all Palestinians, to open a mission in Washington in 1994.

"We are actually wondering how can we still talk to the American side while our offices in Washington are closed", Khatib said.

"Communications with the consulate in Jerusalem and meetings between American and Palestinian officials in Palestine are now frozen because of the decision not to renew the PLO office in Washington's certification", Majdi al-Khalidi, Abbas's diplomatic affairs adviser told The Post.

Nabil Abu Rdineh said in an official press statement sent to reporters that the PNA Presidency suspended its contacts with the U.S. Administration in protest to closing the offices of the PLO in Washington. This is because of a US law that stipulates the Palestinian mission in Washington will be closed if the Palestinians try to take action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

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According to the law, President Donald Trump can waive the closure if the Palestinians are involved in "direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel".

Erekat said in a statement posted on social media that the Palestinians would "put on hold all our communications with this American administration". "We respect the decision and look forward to continuing to work with the USA to advance peace and security in the region", said a statement issued Saturday night by the office of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

In 2015, the US Congress introduced a provision that Palestinians may not try to wield influence over the ICC concerning investigations into Israelis.

"We are not cutting off relations with the PLO", that statement said.

"Conditioning the renewal of the waiver on the Palestinians" sticking to "direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel' is actually superfluous since negotiations are nonexistent, and the current US administration has yet to present any kind of peace initiative", PLO official Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement.

Trump has a 90 days to stop the closure of the office if he deems progress has been made in the peace process.

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