The Palestinian Authority has recalled its top diplomat to the United States, amid a series of diplomatic rows between the PA and the Trump administration.
On Sunday, PA foreign affairs chief Riyad al-Maliki ordered the PLO’s Washington envoy Husam Zomlot back to Ramallah, the Wafa news agency reported.
Relations between the PA and the US have been icy since President Donald Trump’s historic recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital on December 6th.
Following President Trump’s declaration that the US recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announced plans to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, senior PA officials warned that Trump’s vice president, Mike Pence, would not be welcome in the PAduring his visit to the Middle East, originally scheduled for December 18th.
Pence had been scheduled to meet with PA chief Mahmoud Abbas – a meeting the 82-year-old PA leader cancelled following Trump’s Jerusalem announcement.
In November, the Trump administration warned that if the PA would not agree to new negotiations with Israel, the US would shutter the PLO office in Washington DC.
PA officials responded angrily, threatening to cut off all ties with Washington if the PLO office was closed.
Following President Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem, the PA pressed the United Nationsto denounce move, backing a draft resolution introduced to the UN Security Council by the Egyptian delegation.
On December 18th, the US vetoed the Egyptian resolution, which won the backing of the remaining 14 members of the council. Three days later, however, a similar draft resolution, introduced by Turkey and Yemen, passed the UN General Assembly 128 to 9, with 35 abstentions. Twenty-one other member states declined to vote.