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Arab League warns US against severing ties with PLO

US President Donald Trump meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]
US President Donald Trump meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House on May 3, 2017 in Washington, DC. [Thaer Ganaim/Apaimages]

Arab League Secretary-General, Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, announced yesterday that he had contacted the US administration over its recent threats to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO)’s office in Washington DC.

Aboul-Gheit’s remarks came in a statement issued by his office following a meeting with the Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki held in Cairo on the sidelines of the emergency Council of Arab Foreign Ministers’ meeting which addressed “Iran’s interference in the internal affairs of the Arab countries”.

The statement added that the contact made between Aboul-Gheit and the US administration aimed at maintaining the official communication channels between the PA and the US, “during a time the world is anticipating a US peace initiative between Israel and the Palestinians”. The office did not provide any further details.

Read: Hamas: Shutting PLO Washington office biased to Israel

On his part, Al-Malki warned that the US’ move would hamper any hopes Washington has of brokering a Middle East peace deal. He added that the PA would cut off all communication with the Trump administration.

The US State Department recently threatened to shut the PLO’s office in Washington DC unless the PA takes part in peace talks with Israel. The US administration pledged that the PLO’s office could be reopened after 90 days if Trump believes the PA has entered into “direct, meaningful negotiations with Israel”.

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