Palestinians to shun Trump's Middle East team over Jerusalem move

TEL AVIV (dpa)- Palestinian officials will not meet with members of Donald Trump's administration to discuss US efforts to renew peace negotiations, following the president's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, a senior Palestinian official said on Sunday.
"No one from the American administration will be met to discuss peace between the Palestinians and the Israelis, because the [Palestinian] president was very clear on that," Majdi al-Khalidi, a senior advisor to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, told the Times of Israel.

He added that Trump's chief international negotiator, Jason Greenblatt, has not requested a meeting with the Palestinians during his upcoming visit because "he knows that no meeting will happen, even if he asks."
The United States has long been the main interlocutor for the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, most notably by brokering the 1993 Oslo Accords that paved the way for establishing Abbas' Palestinian Authority government.
Last week, Abbas called for the United Nations to take over the peace process, stalled since 2014, saying the US decision disqualified itself from leading negotiations.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he plans to establish an embassy in Jerusalem once the city is part of a Palestinian capital.
"But, God willing, the day is close when officially, with God's permission, we will open our embassy there," Erdogan said at a meeting of his AKP party on Sunday.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War and later annexed the territory in a move that was not internationally recognized.
US Vice President Mike Pence is schedule to visit Israel on Wednesday.

Monday, December 18th 2017

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