Palestinians Host First East Jerusalem Meet Since 2001

Quartet representatives seek to pressure Israel to reopen PA headquarters, the Orient House.

The Palestinian Authority on Monday held its official meeting with a foreign diplomat in East Jerusalem since the closing of its headquarters there more than eight years ago.

The Palestinian representatives met with Norwegian Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Store at an orphanage near the Mount of Olives, not far from the Orient House, which was closed by Israel in 2001.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas earlier Monday held his own meeting with Store in Ramallah.

At the most recent meeting of representatives of the so-called Middle East Quartet last Wednesday in Brussels, the European Union and Russia proposed asking Israel to reopen the Orient House, which had served as the Palestine Liberation Organization and Palestinian Authority headquarters in East Jerusalem.

They also suggested reopening other Palestinian institutions in the eastern half of the city, in an attempt to convince the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.