December 31, 2017 by hotminnie
A new low in US-PA ties?
PLO foreign affairs chief orders top diplomat in US Husam Zomlot, back to Ramallah for ‘consultations’ following Jerusalem recognition. The PLO – a.k.a. Palestinian Authority – has recalled its top diplomat to the United States, amid a series of diplomatic rows between the PA and the Trump administration.
On Sunday, foreign affairs chief Riyad al-Maliki ordered the PLO’s Washington envoy Husam Zomlot back to Ramallah, the Wafa news agency reported. Relations between the PA and the US have been icy since President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6th.
Following President Trump’s declaration that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, senior PLO officials warned that Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, would not be welcome in the PA during his visit to the Middle East, originally scheduled for December 18th.
Pence had been scheduled to meet with PLOA chief Mahmoud Abbas – a meeting the 82-year-old PLO leader cancelled following Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.
In November, the Trump administration warned that if the PLO would not agree to new negotiations with Israel, the US would shutter the PLO office in Washington DC. PLO officials responded angrily, threatening to cut off all ties with Washington if the PLO office was closed.
Following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, the PLO pressed the United Nations to denounce move, backing a draft resolution introduced to the UN Security Council by the Egyptian delegation.
On December 18th, the US vetoed the Egyptian resolution, which won the backing of the remaining 14 members of the council. Three days later, however, a similar draft resolution, introduced by Turkey and Yemen, passed the UN General Assembly 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions. Twenty-one other member states declined to vote.