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No US-Palestine talks until al-Quds decision reversed: Erekat

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat speaks to reporters at the White House on May 3, 2017. (AFP photo)

Senior Palestinian official Saeb Erekat says Palestine will hold no talks with the US until the administration of President Donald Trump reverses its recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.

"The minute any Palestinian goes and meets with American officials, it is an acceptance of their decision. Now they are threatening us with money, with aid," the secretary-general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and Palestinian's longtime chief negotiator said in a Tuesday interview with AFP.

Erekat rejected Washington’s efforts to hold an international conference on finding a two-state solution for the Palestinian conflict and noted, "They promised not to impose any solution, and now they want the meeting for the sake of the meeting."

Erekat said it was as if the American officials are telling the Palestinians, "Come here boy, we know what is good for you."

Erekat warned that Trump and Israel’s right-wing cabinet are in the process of “destroying” the two-state solution, warning that doing so would lead to "an enlargement of the cycle of violence, extremism and counter-violence."

Palestinian protester waves the national flag during clashes with Israeli security forces near the border fence east of Jabalia refugee camp on June 23, 2017. (AFP photo)

On December 6, the US president announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital and relocate the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem al-Quds.

The United Nations General Assembly on December 21 overwhelmingly voted in favor of a resolution that calls on the US to withdraw its controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as the Israeli capital.

On January 16, the US State Department announced that Washington would hold back 65 million dollars to UNRWA - more than half its planned contribution this year - and demanded that the agency make unspecified reforms.

Head of the United Nations agency for Palestinians Pierre Krahenbuhl on Tuesday slammed the "political dimension" of a US decision to cut funding for the body by more than half, warning that it could escalate instability across the Middle East.

The UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA)chief's comments came as he issued an emergency appeal for more than 800 million dollars in funds to provide additional assistance to Palestinian refugees in Syria, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.

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