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US warns it won’t fund refugee agency if Palestinians reject talks

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US warns it won’t fund refugee agency if Palestinians reject talks

Post  Admin on Tue 02 Jan 2018, 10:45 pm

US warns it won’t fund refugee agency if Palestinians reject talks
American envoy to UN says Washington won't pay for UNRWA if Abbas refuses to come to negotiating table
By ALEXANDER FULBRIGHT
Today, 10:19 pm 0
US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks with the press at United Nations headquarters in New York City on January 2, 2018. (Drew Angerer/Getty Images/AFP)
The US on Tuesday threatened it would cut aid to the UN’s Palestinian refugee agency if Ramallah refused to come to the negotiating table for relaunched peace talks.

Following US President Donald Trump’s December 6 recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said the US relinquished its traditional role as the mediator of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. He has also refused to meet with American officials regarding the peace process, including US envoy Jason Greenblatt and White House plans for a new peace effort have reportedly been put on hold.

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Speaking with reporters Tuesday at UN headquarters, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley stressed the US remains committed to reaching a peace deal and implied it would cut off aid if the Palestinians refused to engage in peace negotiations.

Responding to a reporter’s question on whether the US will continue to provide funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency, which provides aid to millions of Palestinian refugees, in light of a non-binding UN General Assembly resolution condemning the recognition, Haley said Trump was prepared to cut aid to UNRWA if the Palestinians refuse to return to peace talks.

“I think the president has basically said that he doesn’t want to give any additional funding until the Palestinians are agreeing to come back to the negotiation table,” Haley said. “We’re trying to move for a peace process but if that doesn’t happen the president is not going to continue to fund that situation.”
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