US to Continue Ties With Palestinians Despite Decision to Close PLO Office

Trump and Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office. (Photo: MEMO, file)

The US State Department announced that contact between Washington and the Palestinian Authority is continuing despite the department’s decision to close the PLO office.

Spokesman Heather Nauert told reporters in a briefing on Tuesday “in our view, communications are not frozen”.

“Conversations will be taking place. We are in contact with Palestinian officials about the status of that PLO office in Washington, as well as having conversations with them about our larger efforts on the part of a lasting and comprehensive peace process,” she added.

Earlier on Tuesday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki announced the freezing of meetings with the Americans in the wake of the US administration’s decision to close the PLO’s office in Washington.

“By closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official,” Al-Maliki was quoted as saying by AFP.

The US State Department announced on Friday the closure of the PLO office in Washington unless “the Palestinian Authority enters in serious peace negotiations with Israel”.

Washington has justified its decision saying the PA violated a US law that states that the Palestinians would lose the right to have a representative in Washington if they support the ICC investigation into Israeli crimes against Palestinians.

The US State Department said: “We do not break relations with the PLO. We do not intend to stop working with the Authority, our relations with them exceeds the limits of contacts with the PLO office in Washington.”

(MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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