Trump administration will close the PLO Office in Washington

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USA- Middle East Affairs -Trump administration will announce on Monday that it is closing the the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s( PLO) diplomatic delegation in Washington.

according to “WAFA: Palestinian official news Agency “We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017,” a State Department.

A report published in the “Wall Street Journal” said ” Bolton will say that the administration is shutting down the office – which has been active in Washington for more than two decades – because the Palestinian Authority is refusing Trump’s pressure to enter into American-led negotiations.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization./ (AFP)

Palestinian negotiator and PLO Executive secretary general Saeb Erekat confirmed the report in a statement: “We have been notified by a U.S. official of their decision to close the Palestinian Mission to the U.S., and described the decision as a “dangerous escalation”.” he said.

“This is yet another affirmation of the Trump Administration’s policy to collectively punish the Palestinian people, including by cutting financial support for humanitarian services including health and education. To this regard, we will take the necessary measures to protect the rights of our citizens living in the United States to access their consular services,” the statement continued.

The PLO, the internationally recognized representative of the Palestinian people, opened the mission in 1994.

Last year, the Trump administration threatened to shut down the PLO delegation, stating that American law requires to have meaningful Israeli-Palestinian negotiations in order to allow the delegation to continue its operations. Back then, however, negotiations between the U.S. and the Palestinian Authority were still ongoing, and so the administration managed to postpone any decision on the matter.

Ever since December, when Trump announced that he will move the American embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and recognize the city as Israel’s capital, the Palestinians have stopped communicating with the Trump administration. They have said that the administration cannot be accepted as an “honest broker” because of its bias towards Israel.

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1 comment

2018 in Review: The Top 10 News Stories in Palestine - Middle East AffairsJanuary 1, 2019 - 2:15 pm

[…] On September 10, the United States announced the closure of Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO…, DC. According to a statement from the US State Department, the PLO office was permitted to operate to “support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians. However, the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.” […]

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