Turkey condemns US over PLO mission closure

Turkey condemns US over PLO mission closure

Turkey has strongly criticized the United States for ordering the closure of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)'s mission in Washington.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry statement yesterday said the decision was "worrying," described it as another indication that the United States had "lost its neutral position" in the Middle East peace process.

"The decision will serve nothing but to encourage efforts to halt a two-state solution process," ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said, adding that Turkey will continue to support international efforts that will find a just and permanent solution to the Palestinian cause.

As part of growing condemnation from the international community, the Arab League also slammed the U.S. closure of the PLO diplomatic mission. "Since the declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017 and the relocation of its embassy to Jerusalem this May, the current U.S. administration has been showing its full bias to the Israeli agenda," the Cairo-based league said in a statement, as reported by Anadolu Agency (AA).

Following the U.S.'s decision, the Palestinian Authority said it will not abandon its principles following the Trump administration's move to close the PLO's office in Washington, which analysts say disqualifies the U.S. as a legitimate broker of peace in the region. The spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdeneh, said the Palestinian Authority will maintain its "commitment to the resolutions of international legitimacy," according to a written statement released Monday. Rdeneh said key issues, including the status of Palestinian refugees, "are more important than the relationship with the United States." The Palestinian envoy to Washington said yesterday his staffers have been given a month to pack up.

The International Criminal Court (ICC) also said yesterday it would "continue to do its work undeterred." The Hague-based court said in a statement it was an independent and impartial institution with the backing of 123 countries.

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