Palestinians recall envoy to US for consultations after Jerusalem move

The Palestinians are recalling their envoy to the United States for consultations, following US President Donald Trump’s designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (Wikimedia Commons)
Updated 31 December 2017
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Palestinians recall envoy to US for consultations after Jerusalem move

RAMALLAH: The Palestinians said Sunday they were recalling their envoy to the United States for consultations in a move that follows US President Donald Trump’s designation of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Palestinian foreign minister Riad Al-Malki decided to recall PLO envoy to Washington Husam Zomlot, official Palestinian news agency WAFA said, without providing further details.
Trump’s December 6 announcement regarding the disputed city deeply angered the Palestinians and led to weeks of unrest.
Palestinian officials had earlier said president Mahmud Abbas would refuse to meet US Vice President Mike Pence during a visit to the region that had been planned for December but which was later canceled.
He has also said he would accept no further role for the United States in the Middle East peace process.
Violence since Trump’s announcement has left 13 Palestinians dead, with most killed in clashes with Israeli forces.
On Sunday, while marking the 53rd anniversary of his Fatah movement, Abbas called Jerusalem “the eternal capital of the Palestinian people.”
Jerusalem’s status is perhaps the most sensitive issue in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Israel sees the entire city as its capital, while the Palestinians want the eastern sector as the capital of their future state.
Israel occupied east Jerusalem and the West Bank in the 1967 Six-Day War. It later annexed east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.


Iran, US tension is a ‘clash of wills’: Guards commander

Updated 23 May 2019
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Iran, US tension is a ‘clash of wills’: Guards commander

  • The commander said they will have a “hard, crushing and obliterating response” for their enemies
  • Tensions between Iran and US escalated after Trump restored sanctions

GENEVA: The standoff between Iran and the United States is a “clash of wills,” a senior commander of Iran’s powerful Revolutionary Guards said on Thursday, suggesting any enemy “adventurism” would meet a crushing response, Fars news agency reported.
Tensions have spiked between the two countries after Washington sent more military forces to the Middle East in a show of force against what US officials say are Iranian threats to its troops and interests in the region.
“The confrontation and face-off of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the malicious government of America is the arena for a clash of wills,” Iran’s armed forces chief of staff Major General Mohammad Baqeri said.
He pointed to a battle during the 1980-88 Iran-Iraq war where Iran was victorious and said the outcome could be a message that Iran will have a “hard, crushing and obliterating response” for any enemy “adventurism.”
On Sunday, US President Donald Trump tweeted: “If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!“
Trump restored US sanctions on Iran last year and tightened them this month, ordering all countries to halt imports of Iranian oil or face sanctions of their own.
Trump wants Iran to come to the negotiating table to reach a new deal with more curbs on its nuclear and missile programs.
Reiterating Iran’s stance, the spokesman for its Supreme National Security Council said on Thursday that “There will not be any negotiations between Iran and America.”
Keyvan Khosravi was also quoted as saying by the state broadcaster that some officials from several countries have visited Iran recently, “mostly representing the United States.”
He did not elaborate, but the foreign minister of Oman, which in the past helped pave the way for negotiations between Iran and the United States, visited Tehran on Monday.
“Without exception, the message of the power and resistance of the Iranian nation was conveyed to them,” he said.
In Berlin, a German diplomatic source told Reuters that Jens Ploetner, a political director in Germany’s Foreign Ministry, was in Tehran on Thursday for meetings with Iranian officials to try to preserve the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and cool tensions in the region.