United States President Donald Trump has threatened to withdraw financial aid to the Palestine if the country does not pursue peace with Israel. This comes after Palestine snubbed the U.S by failing to meet Vice President Mike Pence during when he visited recently.
Speaking after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the World Economic Forum, Trump said all he wanted to see between the two countries is peace. However, Trump’s remarks could further derail the purpose of reviving Israeli-Palestinian talks which have stalled for a long period.
Palestinians snubbed Pence’s recent visit to the region after the U.S president made an announcement recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and vowed to start the process of relocating the U.S. embassy to the city. The status of the city is the bedrock of the conflict between the two nations.
The endorsement by Trump of Israel’s claim on Jerusalem as its official capital city attracted united condemnation from leaders in the Arab world and a lot of criticism globally. The endorsement also broke U.S’s long standing policy that the status of the city must be decided through negations between the two countries.
The U.S has said that this month it plans withhold $65 million of $125 million which it had intended to send to the U.N. agency which helps refugees from Palestine. The UNRWA agency gets its funding from voluntary contributions made by U.N. states and the U.S is the largest contributor.
In response, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spokesman said the U.S had gone off the negotiation table since it had recognized Jerusalem as the capital city of Jerusalem.
Abbas has termed the endorsement by Trump that Jerusalem is an Israel capital a slap in the face. He has also rejected the U.S as a mediator in any talks that may be called in the future between Palestine and Israel. Abbas went on an oversea trip before the arrival of Pence.
The Palestinian president said he will only accept a broad panel that has the recognition of the international community to broker any peace negotiations between the two countries. Nikki Haley, the U.S Ambassador to the U.N has criticized Abbas for his remarks.