Palestinians freeze United States contacts over threat to shutter PLO office in DC

Palestinians freeze United States contacts over threat to shutter PLO office in DC

The State Department has refused to renew permission for the PLO to operate its office in Washington, D.C., for the first time since in about three decades. "Our meetings begin from our office, and the arrangements are there", Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Malki told AFP news agency Tuesday.

The decision can be overturned if President Donald Trump determines that the Palestinians "have entered into direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel".

A PLO official and an official in Abbas' office were not available for comment.

The comments made by the former U.S. presidential hopeful came to light in a recording published by Israeli Channel 10 yesterday in which Kerry praises the Palestinians for showing "extraordinary" restraint against Israeli provocations. "If they tell us the office is closed, we will continue to freeze our communications", he added. "Why? Because the majority of the cabinet now in the Israeli government has publicly declared they are not ever for a Palestinian state". But Trump's team, led by Kushner in his role as senior White House adviser, is working to broker a deal aimed at settling the intractable conflict.

Earlier on Tuesday, Malki told the PA's official radio station, the Voice of Palestine, that the USA administration was reconsidering its decision to close down the PLO office due to the threat by the Palestinian leadership to freeze contacts.

Poor education system drags SA down global talent rankings
The study chimes with another report earlier this year which also placed Switzerland top for attracting and developing talent. China took the lead among BRICS nations, ranking at 40, followed by Russian Federation at 43 and South Africa at 48.

The declaration does not automatically mean the mission will close.

In 2011, under the Obama administration, the United States started letting the Palestinians fly their flag over the office, an upgrade to the status of their mission that the Palestinians hailed as historic.

In 1993, the PLO committed to negotiate with Israel and reject terror in its effort to achieve statehood.

The Secretary of State Rex Tillerson determined that "certain statements made by Palestinian leaders about the ICC", put the PA at odds with the existing law, the Associated Press reported. The provision doesn't explicitly define what would constitute direct or meaningful negotiations.

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