Shtayyeh urges US to hurry and reopen consulate in Jerusalem

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh on Friday called on the US administration to speed up the reopening of the US consulate general in Jerusalem which had dealt with direct contacts with the Palestinians.

Shtayyeh’s call came during a meeting in Ramallah with a US delegation that included Chris Murphy (D-CT), who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee dealing with the Middle East, Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Chris Van Hollen (D- MD) and Jon Ossoff (D-GA).

In 2019, the consulate was officially incorporated into the United States Embassy, ​​which was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Palestinian officials criticized the move, which was taken by the administration of former US President Donald Trump.

Last May, Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that Washington would reopen the consulate. He made the announcement after meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.

However, Blinken did not give a specific date for the reopening of the diplomatic mission, but said it would be “an important way for our country to engage and support the Palestinian people.”

Last week, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid warned that the US plan to reopen the consulate would put the Israeli government at risk. “We have an interesting but delicate structure of our government, and we think it could destabilize this government, and I don’t think the US administration wants that to happen,” Lapid said.

During the meeting with the senators, Shtayyeh called on the US administration “to accelerate the implementation of its promises, in particular the reopening of the US consulate in East Jerusalem, in addition to withdrawing the Palestine Liberation Organization. and the Palestinian Authority terrorism lists. in the United States, ”the official Palestinian Authority news agency Wafa reported.

THE FIRST Palestinian Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh – refusing to recognize that the Arab states have the right to defend their vital interests. (credit: ALAA BADARNEH / POOL VIA REUTERS)

In 1987, Congress passed the Anti-Terrorism Act which, among other things, declared the PLO a terrorist organization and prohibited the opening of PLO facilities on American soil. Despite the ban, Congress allowed the president to issue a waiver on his own, paving the way for the PLO to open a representative office in Washington in 1994.

In 2018, the Trump administration ordered the PLO office to be closed because of the Palestinians’ refusal to engage with the White House on its peace plan for prosperity in the Middle East. The State Department said at the time that the decision was made because the PLO “failed to take steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel.”

The Palestinian Authority is not included in the State Department’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.

Shtayyeh was apparently referring to the Taylor Force Act of Congress of 2018 to stop US aid to the Palestinian Authority until it stops paying allowances to Palestinians who commit acts of terrorism and to the families of deceased terrorists. US counterterrorism legislation that came into effect a year later allows Americans to sue in US courts those who receive US foreign aid, including the Palestinian Authority, for alleged complicity in “acts of war.”

Shtayyeh stressed the importance of working to forge a serious new political path to end the [Israeli] occupation by the Quartet on the basis of international law and the legitimacy and resolutions of the United Nations, ”according to Wafa.

The Quartet is made up of the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and Russia.

The Palestinian Authority has said it is ready to resume peace talks with Israel only under the leadership of all Quartet members, not the United States alone.

Shtayyeh reiterated his call on the US administration to put pressure on Israel “and oblige it to respect the signed agreements, including halting construction in settlements, halting human rights violations of Palestinians, whether by killing, arresting, demolishing property and confiscating land, and ending its measures in Jerusalem, ”the agency said.

Shtayyeh discussed with the delegation the importance of directly strengthening bilateral relations between the United States and the Palestinians and welcomed the decision of the Biden administration to renew financial assistance to the United Nations Office for Labor. and relief for Palestine refugees (UNRWA) and development and infrastructure projects. He also praised the United States for helping Palestinians fight COVID-19.

Shtayyeh told senators that the two-state solution “faces real danger due to Israel’s continued policy of colonization and land grabbing.” He warned that “the erosion of the two-state solution and the maintenance of the status quo will have demographic and security consequences.”

Shtayyeh called on the United States to exert serious pressure on Israel to allow Palestinian elections to be held in Jerusalem.

In April, Abbas annulled the elections for the parliament and the presidency of the Palestinian Authority on the pretext that Israel had not responded to his request to allow the vote in Jerusalem.

He condemned the statements of Prime Minister Naftali Bennet on the eve of his recent visit to Washington, saying that they “demonstrate a clear intransigence and persistence in the policy of colonization and the creation of permanent facts on the ground”.

In an interview with The New York Times on the eve of his visit to Washington, Bennet ruled out any progress in the peace process with the Palestinians and said Israel will continue the standard policy of “natural growth” in the settlements.

Source link

About Dianne Stinson

Check Also

Democratic divisions ignite over tax hikes and drug prices

WASHINGTON – On the eve of the self-imposed deadline Democrats to complete committee work on …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *