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Report: Palestinian Authority's Abbas Orders Freeze on Contacts With DC

Report: Palestinian Authority's Abbas Orders Freeze on Contacts With DC
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Abbas Momani/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:57 PM

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has ordered a freeze on contacts with Washington over a threat by the Trump administration to close the Palestinian mission office in Washington, D.C., Haaretz reports.

The Trump administration last week notified the Palestinian Authority it would shut down the Palestinian diplomatic delegation in Washington within the next few months unless Abbas entered into serious peace negotiations with Israel.

"What is important for the Palestinians is to pass on the message and a clear position to the [U.S.] administration and not to cut off relations just to cut off relations," a senior Palestinian official told Haaretz. "We also must not forget the balance of power in this case when we are talking about a superpower such as the United States."

Senior Palestinian officials will still take calls from senior American officials, though, said the same source.

President Donald Trump has pushed for a peace agreement, but also said it is the most difficult deal in the world to make. Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and White House senior adviser, has been tasked with helping the process, but said in July it might not be possible.

"In meetings with President Trump, Abu Mazen [Abbas] received very reassuring messages," another senior Palestinian official said on the condition of anonymity. "On the other hand, we are dealing with the type of move that casts doubt on the entire relationship. The question is how does the White House explain this gap between the messages of the president on the one hand and those of his administration on the other."

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A threat by the Trump administration to close the Palestinian mission office in Washington, D.C., has Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ordering a freeze on contacts with Washington, Haaretz reports.
palestinian authority, mahmoud abbas, washington, diplomats
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2017-57-21
Tuesday, 21 November 2017 06:57 PM
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