Palestinian Foreign Minister: Trump Admin Reconsidering Move to Close PLO Mission in D.C.

Threat by Palestinian Authority’s leadership to cut ties with Washington if U.S. carries out move is what changed the Americans’ minds, Riyad al-Malki says

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas meeting with U.S. presidential adviser Jared Kushner in Ramallah, August 24, 2017.

The Trump administration is reconsidering its position on closing the Palestinian mission in Washington, said Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Malki on Tuesday morning.

The Trump administration began to reconsider the move following threats by the Palestinian Authority’s leadership that Ramallah would cut its ties with Washington, Malki told the official Voice of Palestine radio station.

Malki added that the Trump administration must reexamine all the laws passed by Congress since 1987 defining the Palestine Liberation Organization as a terrorist organization.

Last week, the Trump administration notified the Palestinian Authority that unless it enters serious peace negotiations with Israel, the U.S. could shut down the Palestinian diplomatic delegation in Washington, D.C. within the next few months. This is because of a U.S. law that stipulates the Palestinian mission in Washington will be closed if the Palestinians try to take action against Israel at the International Criminal Court.

In response, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said this is a "dangerous step" that shows the United States is losing its status as a fair mediator between Israel.