US move on Palestinian mission encourages attempts to destroy two-state solution: Turkey

US move on Palestinian mission encourages attempts to destroy two-state solution: Turkey


A decision by the Trump administration to shut down the Palestine Liberation Organization’s (PLO) diplomatic mission is “worrying” and will only “serve to encourage attempts to destroy a two-state solution” in the Israel-Palestine conflict, Turkey’s Foreign Ministry said on Sept. 11. 

In a written statement, ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the decision “is another display of U.S. losing impartiality on the Middle East peace process.”

Turkey will continue to support international efforts that will find a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian cause, he added.

The U.S. on Sept. 10 announced the closure of the PLO’s Washington diplomatic mission as the Trump administration prepares to roll out its Middle East peace plan.

“The PLO office in Washington will close at this point,” the State Department said Sept. 10. The department said “the PLO has not taken steps to advance the start of direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” and pointed to Palestinian calls for the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate Israel as reasons for its decision.

“We have permitted the PLO office to conduct operations that support the objective of achieving a lasting, comprehensive peace between Israelis and the Palestinians since the expiration of a previous waiver in November 2017,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

The PLO office had served as Palestine’s de facto embassy in Washington. The move came shortly after the U.S. ended all funding for the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees, UNRWA. The Palestinian Authority has rejected any U.S. mediation since Trump officially recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.