White House official: PA cut off ties with Washington after Jerusalem recognition

Washington has had no contact with the Palestinian Authority since US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in early December, a senior White House official told Reuters on Tuesday.

Watch: Pence at the Western Wall, today (Video Credit: Hillel Maeir/TPS)

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On Tuesday, a senior White House official said during an interview with Reuters that the Palestinian Authority severed its ties with Washington after US President Donald Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. The official added that Washington hopes to present a Middle East peace agreement this year. However, he stressed that both the sides would first need to be ready for such an agreement.

The senior US official stated that even though Ramallah cut off its ties with Washington, the White House is still committed to formulating a peace deal. He added that despite the PA’s claims that Washington can no longer be a part of the peace process, no other country can take on America’s role in the talks.

PA leader Abbas Photo Credit: Ehud Amiton/TPS

Earlier today, US Vice President Mike Pence said that the said that the Palestinians need to recommit themselves to the peace process. “The White House has been working with our partners in the region to see if we can develop a framework for peace,” Pence told Reuters in an interview in Jerusalem. “It all just depends now on when the Palestinians are going to come back to the table.”

On Tuesday morning, Pence began the final day of his three-day visit to Israel. He met with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin and visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. Pence and his wife Karen then headed to the Western Wall for a personal visit, which is being acclaimed as historic throughout Israel. Speaking to reporters after he prayed at the holy site, Pence said that he felt “inspired” by the visit.



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