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国际英语新闻:U.S. says PLO office in Washington may resume operation if Palestinians hold talks with Isra

Source: Xinhuanet    2017-11-26  我要投稿   论坛   Favorite  

WASHINGTON, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- A U.S. State Department spokesperson said Friday the agency is optimistic that President Donald Trump may allow the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) office here to resume full operations if it met the necessary conditions.

An earlier report said the Trump administration had backtracked on its decision to close the office; instead, the United States would merely impose "limitations" on the office that it expected would be lifted after 90 days.

The spokesperson told Xinhua by email that after a waiver of statutory restrictions on PLO activity in the United States lapsed last week, they had advised the PLO office to limit its activities to those related to "achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians."

The State Department said if after 90 days the authorities determine that the Palestinians are engaged in "direct and meaningful" negotiations with Israel, restrictions on the PLO and its Washington office may be lifted.

The spokesperson said that so far, both parties had been found to be cooperative, constructive and prepared to engage in negotiations. Hence the agency was optimistic that at the end of the 90-day period, the political process may be sufficiently advanced for the president to allow the PLO office to resume full operations.

The waiver lapse was not intended to create leverage or put pressure on the Palestinians, the spokesperson added.

The Trump administration said a week earlier that the United States will close the office as a response to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' calling on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate and prosecute Israelis at the United Nations in September. A provision of the U.S. law requires the PLO office to close if Palestinians back the ICC's move to investigate or prosecute Israelis.

The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) responded by announcing Tuesday that it was suspending contacts with the United States over the decision to close the PLO office, calling it unacceptable.

The spokesperson of Abbas' Fatah Party, Nasser Quadwa, told Xinhua on Saturday that anti-Palestine laws in the United States are used by pro-Israeli lobbies against the PLO representation in the country.

He also said shutting down the PLO office would cause the Palestinians to react strongly, and will harm Palestinian-U.S. relations.


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