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Erekat: US under Trump has lost role as Mideast mediator

Senior Palestinian Liberation Organisation official Saeb Erekat said that US President Donald Trump has lost his role as mediator for peace in the Middle East because of his bias toward the Israeli government's practices and policies.

In an opinion article published in the New York Times, the secretary-general of the PLO's Executive Committee reiterated his country's position against Trump's decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Erekat lamented that Trump has irreversibly ended Washington's role in the peace process.

"He has taken Israel's side in the Israeli-Palestinian struggle while dismissing the roles of international law, international organsations and American diplomatic tradition in the Middle East peace process," Erekat wrote.


Erekat also said that Washington's decision to cut aid to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) would contribute to increased despair and extremism.

UNRWA funding is a "collective international responsibility, and the solution comes through international law and international legitimacy."

Earlier this month, the US administration decided to cut half of its $130 million annual aid to the UNRWA.

Erekat believes that Trump's goal is for the refugee issue to be removed from the negotiating table.

He condemned the US silence about Israel's violations and its "enterprise of colonial settlement in the West Bank".

Read: The Middle East Quartet still includes the US, so can it still play a role in the peace process?

Asia & AmericasIsraelMiddle EastNewsPalestineUS
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