Palestinian leader says USA out of peace talks until Jerusalem policy reversed

Palestinian leader says USA out of peace talks until Jerusalem policy reversed

Hamdallah said that the recent U.S. steps were undermining the two-state solution, calling on the countries of the world, particularly Norway, to recognize the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

The Swedish ambassador said he did not rule out raising the issue at the UN Security Council, which is scheduled to hold its regular meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on January 25.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian government called on the United Nations General Assembly and worldwide community to continue to support the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) to help it continue with the mission for which it was created for until the Palestinian refugees are able to return to their homes they were forced out from in 1948.

On January 2, US President Donald Trump said the US would cut off funding for Palestine as the Palestinians were "no longer willing to talk peace" with Israel.

In Washington, a senior State Department official said Monday that "contrary to reports that we have halted funding to UNRWA, the decision is under review".

Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, said in a statement that "It is vindictive for the USA government to deprive the United Nations of money to feed and educate Palestinian children in order to blackmail the Palestinian Authority into rejoining Trump administration-led peace negotiations".

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Meeting UNRWA Commissioner General Pierre Krahenbuhl, the minister emphasised that empowering UNRWA to help it continue its services to refugees is an global responsibility, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

Moscow attaches particular importance to the UNRWA's role and highly praises the agency's contribution to alleviating the suffering of Palestinian refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.

On Tuesday, King Salman of Saudi Arabia said that his country's position on the Palestinian issue remains the same.

Relations between the Palestinians and Washington soured last month after Trump announced the United States would recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, generating outrage across the Arab world and concern among Washington's Western allies.

In a series of tweets on Sunday evening, a spokesperson for the United Nations agency said it would continue providing help to Palestinian refugees until the global community comes up with a solution for their plight.

Palestinian officials have said Trump's declaration on Jerusalem meant he could not serve as an honest broker in peace negotiations with Israel that Washington has been trying to revive. Jerusalem is considered a holy city by Muslims, Christians and Jews.

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