Palestine freezes talks after US PLO office closure threats
The Palestinians have frozen all meetings with the United States after it decided to close their representative office in Washington, officials said Tuesday.
"In practice by closing the office they are freezing all meetings and we are making that official," Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki told AFP.
A spokesman for the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) confirmed that it had received instructions from Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas "regarding closing down all communication lines with the Americans".
The threat follows comments from US officials that President Donald Trump had given the Palestinian leadership 90 days to make a decision on entering into "serious" peace talks with Israel.
If Ramallah refused to agree, the US would shutter the Palestinian Authority's diplomatic mission in Washington, media reports said.
Meanwhile the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) condemned the US State Department’s decision not to renew the operating license for PLO general delegation’s Washington office saying that closing the office for advocating international law is troubling.
ADC on Monday in called on US President Donald Trump and the State Department to reverse their decision and allow the PLO’s diplomatic office in Washington DC to remain open.
Ramallah previously rejected the alleged threat to close the Palestinian Authority diplomatic mission in Washington unless it enters into "serious" peace talks with Israel.
Al-Malki on Saturday said he would not give in to Washington's "extortion" and was waiting for a response from the White House about the claims.
"The ball is now in the American court," he told Palestine Radio.
"The Palestinian leadership will not accept any extortion or pressure."
Agencies contributed to this report