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Palestinians ‘freeze’ meetings with US over office row

Palestinian flag waves at Palestine Liberation Organization office in Washington, U.S., in this November 19, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
RAMALLAH/GAZA: Palestinian officials announced Tuesday they had suspended meetings with the US following a quarrel with President Donald Trump’s administration over the future of their representative office in Washington.
The announcement came on the same day the leading Palestinian political factions began talks in Cairo aimed at boosting reconciliation efforts.
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Malki and other officials said they had suspended all meetings, but speaking during a visit to Spain, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said he remained committed to working with Trump and America.
Meanwhile, delegations from 13 factions from Gaza, the West Bank and the diaspora arrived in Egypt on Monday. Deputy chairman of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, Fayez Abu Eita, said the dialogue will include enabling the Palestinian government to work freely in Gaza and unify its governance with that of the West Bank. “There will be bilateral meetings sponsored by Egypt between Hamas and Fatah to complete the discussions,” he told Arab News.
Al-Malki said that by deciding to close the office of the Palestine Liberation Organization in Washington, the Americans had effectively cut off ties. “What is the use of holding any meetings with them when they close our office?” he told AFP.

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