Ramallah (OIC-UNA) � The Palestinian presidency expressed deep surprise at the recent reports that the US administration is going to close the Palestine Liberation Organization's (PLO) office in Washington, particularly since meetings between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas with his American counterpart Donald Trump that were characterized by full understanding of steps to create an atmosphere that allows for the resumption of the peace process.
The Associated Press (AP) reported on Friday that the US State Department has warned of shutting down the PLO mission in Washington if the Palestinians do not enter into "direct and meaningful negotiations" for a peace deal with Israel or if they try to get The Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) to prosecute Israelis for crimes against the Palestinian people including settlement activity.
Under US law, it is required to operate the office that Secretary of State must certify every six months that the PLO has complied with conditions imposed by Congress. The latest six-month period expired on Thursday.
"The Palestinian side has not received any ideas even though many months have passed and in spite of numerous meetings held with the US side, which disqualifies the US administration from playing the role of a mediator and removes itself from the job as sponsor of the political process to achieve the peace President Trump has promised to reach," Presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh said in a statement on Saturday.
He stressed that this US measure that aims to close the PLO office in Washington "is unprecedented in the history of US-Palestinian relations, a matter that could have serious consequences on the peace process and US-Arab relations. This measure also serves as a blow to peace-making efforts and a reward to Israel, which is working to obstruct the US efforts by persisting with its settlement policy and its refusal to accept the principle of the two-state solution."
Source: International Islamic News Agency