Cairo, Nov 19 (IANS) Egypt has asked Palestine not to cut off communications with the US in response to the State Department’s threat to close the Palestine Liberation Organisation’s office in Washington, an Egyptian official said on Sunday.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry telephoned PLO Secretary General Saeb Erekat on Saturday night to insist on the importance of maintaining contact between Ramallah and Washington, Efe news agency reported.
Ahmed Abu Zeid, a spokesperson for the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs, explained in a statement that Shoukry stressed the need for direct communication during the current stage, in which the international community hopes that negotiations will be resumed between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The US State Department last week had said its decision to close the PLO office was taken because the Palestinians were attempting to bring a case against Israel before the International Criminal Court.
Erekat had threatened on Saturday to sever relations with the US if the latter closes the PLO’s diplomatic office in Washington.
Palestine’s diplomatic mission has been present in Washington since 1994 and is headed by Husam Zomlot, a close adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.
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