Mideast Daily News

Abbas Refuses Call For Dialogue After U.S. Threat Of PLO Mission Closure

By Charles Bybelezer | The Media Line

November 23, 2017

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Tensions are ramping up between the White House and Palestinian Authority, following the State Department’s threat this week to shutter the Palestine Liberation Organization’s mission in Washington. The Trump administration insists it was obligated to warn the PA of the prospective move, after President Mahmoud Abbas violated an American law by calling in September on the International Criminal Court to investigate Israeli officials for war crimes. In response, the Palestinian leadership has reportedly cut off all communications with U.S. diplomats in Jerusalem and Abbas is purported to have refused to take phone calls from Trump’s representatives. Some analysts believe that the warning was issued to apply pressure on the PA to enter into serious negotiations with Israel—which would offset the American requirement to close the PLO mission—amid efforts by the White House to revive the moribund peace process. To this end, Trump’s point men on the conflict, Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt, have started drafting a proposal to jump-start talks that is expected to be released by January. The current diplomatic crisis, if unresolved, risks torpedoing the effort which has become a central tenet of Trump’s foreign policy.

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