US Backtracks on Closing PA Mission in Washington

November 25, 2017

< 1 min read

On Friday, the U.S. State Department announced it had reversed its week-old decision to close the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Mission after the Palestinian Authority (PA) violated his organization’s agreement with the United States.

State Department spokesman Edgar Vasquez said the US had “advised the PLO Office to limit its activities to those related to achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Last Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson announced on Friday that the White House was considering shutting down the Palestinian mission in Washington after violating the conditions under which the U.S. government permitted them to open. One of the conditions stated the PA would not to bring charges against Israelis in the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against Palestinians.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas violated this provision last September in a speech to the United Nations in September, in which he urged the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel and prosecute actions by Israelis.

Vasquez explained that even this restriction will probably be lifted after a short period.

“We therefore are optimistic that at the end of this 90-day period, the political process may be sufficiently advanced that the president will be in a position to allow the PLO office to resume full operations,” Vasquez said.

Before the PLO Mission was established in 1994, U.S. law prohibited its establishment. President Bill Clinton waived the law, and this status was upgraded in 2011 when President Obama allowed the PLO mission to openly fly its flag.

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