U.S. changes course, allows PLO office to remain open

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U.S. changes course, allows PLO office to remain open

According to The Associated Press, the office will be allowed to stay open with certain limitations, in particular, that the PLO's activities there be "related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians". And he said the Palestinians are "trying to cooperate to achieve the ultimate deal".

President Donald Trump can bypass that rule only by assuring Congress that peace talks have started.

The chaos that ensued after the announcement, with the USA unable for several days to explain if the office was truly closing and when, indicated it had caught much of the government off-guard.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas apparently crossed that line in September by calling on the ICC to investigate and charge Israelis for alleged crimes against Palestinians.

Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki has said the US decision "would hamper any hopes Washington has of brokering a Middle East peace deal". The Palestinians have no other decent options, but that does not necessarily mean they can be persuaded to accept the end of their national aspirations.For those who have followed the ups and downs of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations over the years and decades, there is a tendency to fall into one of two categories: Those who believe that peace will never happen, and those for whom hope springs eternal.

Vasquez said the original position had never been meant to create leverage or impose pressure. At odds is a license, which needs to be extended every six months, that the US said it wouldn't renew after Palestine asked the International Criminal Court to probe and potentially prosecute Israel.

Last week, US officials said the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in the nation's capital must close, in accordance with a USA law related to the Palestinians having tried to get the International Criminal Court to prosecute Israelis.

The PLO is the group that formally represents all Palestinians.

Meanwhile, he accused the United States administration of "blackmailing" and attempting to punish the Palestinian people.

With regard to the PLO office in the US, Erekat pointed out that its licence expired on 18 November but it has not been renewed by the State Department.

The United States allowed the PLO to open a mission in Washington in 1994.

Israel opposes any Palestinian membership in United Nations -related organizations until a peace deal has been reached. Now, recent articles in US, European and Israeli media suggest that the Trump administration is drafting a proposal for new peace talks, which reportedly might be completed in January 2018.Some political leaders have expressed optimism that the "outsiders" in Washington will bring fresh ideas and perspectives to an ossified conflict.

The Israelis and Palestinians are not engaged in active, direct negotiations.

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