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US forfeited role of mediator in Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki

Cairo, Dec 10 (UITV/IANS) - The Foreign Minister of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA) said here on Saturday that with President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital the US had taken sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and forfeited its role as mediator.

Riyad al-Maliki made his remarks at a press conference before an extraordinary meeting of Arab League foreign leaders in Cairo, Efe news agency reported.

"By making this decision, the US administration transferred itself from the role of mediator to becoming a side in the conflict," al-Maliki was quoted as saying by Palestinian news agency WAFA.

He stressed that there will be no official contact between any Palestinian and American officials, noting that the PNA will seek a "new international focal point for ending the occupation."

Al-Maliki pointed out that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas announced on Saturday that in response to Trump's decision he will not meet with US Vice President Mike Pence when he visits the region this month.

Despite this change in the US position, the foreign minister said Palestinians will not withdraw from the peace process.

"We will ask all countries that recognize Palestine to recognize East Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the state of Palestine, for both Christians and Muslims," al-Maliki added.