A Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) delegation met with US officials in Washington, D.C. on Monday as a final meeting with President Barack Obama’s administration before the transition to President-Elect Donald Trump in January.
A joint statement by the US-Palestinian Political Dialogue said that PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat and US Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Stuart E. Jones met to discuss a number of issues related to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the broader Middle East.
The delegations reportedly discussed “the PLO’s long-standing commitment to non-violence” and the two-state solution, which they described as “the only way to achieve an enduring peace that meets Israeli and Palestinian security needs and Palestinian aspirations for statehood and sovereignty, end the occupation that began in 1967, and resolve all permanent status issues.”
— Israel News (@IsraelNewsNow) December 10, 2016
While the statement made no mention of how such a dialogue was expected to develop under a Trump administration, the Republican president-elect has so far indicated a very strong support for the far-right Israeli government, which has led many observers to predict that Israeli violations of international law in the occupied Palestinian territory could increase during his tenure as American president.
On Monday, Trump senior adviser Kellyanne Conway reiterated that Trump’s campaign pledge to move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem would be a “very big priority.”
Leading up the arrival of Erekat-led delegation, Israeli news site Haaretz reported, citing anonymous sources, that the Palestinian-US meetings would aim to discuss a future United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolution against illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Saeb Erekat: Trump’s win emboldens racists in Israel’s govt, feel they have free rein to bury 2-state solution. https://t.co/VuE4aq7RAZ
— Noga Tarnopolsky (@NTarnopolsky) November 16, 2016
According to the report, an official from the office of the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said the outgoing Obama administration is not likely accept the draft resolution in its current form, and discussions would be geared toward negotiating a version that would avoid an American veto when the resolution is introduced to the UNSC, reportedly scheduled for January.
(Ma’an, PC, Social Media)