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Erekat: No talks with US until Jerusalem move reversed

Top Palestinian negotiatior Saeb Erekat watches Trump's Jerusalem announcement [Getty]

Date of publication: 30 January, 2018

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Palestinian leaders are now looking to sidestep US-led peace negotiations, seeing the Trump administration as biased after its December Jerusalem announcement.

The Palestinians’ top negotiator said on Tuesday that they would no longer maintain talks with the Trump administration unless it reversed its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, according to AFP.

Saeb Erekat, secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization, criticized the 6 December US decision as “part of a new American era of moving from negotiation to dictation”.

Palestinians see the eastern sector of Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, and decades of US policy maintained that the city’s status would be decided by future Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.

Erekat’s remarks follow increasing tensions between the Trump administration and the Palestinians, who last week boycotted US Vice President Mike Pence’s trip to the region.

Trump later in response threatened to withhold millions in aid until Palestinians returned to the negotiating table.

“They disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them,” he said during a Davos meeting in Switzerland on 25 January.

Palestinian leaders are sidestepping the US – viewing the Trump administration as blatantly biased – and aiming to convene an international conference showing global support for a two-state solution.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbous had earlier called President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement the “slap of the century”.

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