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US loses its role of Mideast settlement mediator — Palestinian top diplomat

December 10, 2017, 2:45 UTC+3 CAIRO

By making this decision, Donald Trump "deprived the United States of its role in the peace process, including the Quartet," Riyad al-Maliki said

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CAIRO, December 10. /TASS/. US President Donald Trump’s decision on Jerusalem has violated all international norms and led to his country's exclusion from peace process in the region, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Saturday.

"By making this decision, strongly rejected by Palestinians and all countries in the world, Trump deprived the United States of its role in the peace process, including the Quartet. From now on, his country is not a mediator, it is a party to the conflict," he told reporters on the sidelines of the emergencies meeting of Arab League foreign ministers in Cairo.

"The Palestinian state fully rejects this decision and will treat it as if it never existed, because it considers it illegitimate and void from the legal and political point of view, and also as a reflection of the United States’ total disregard of all constants of the international law. This move will change nothing, and Jerusalem will remain a part of the occupied Palestinian territories," he continued.

According to al-Maliki, the Arab bloc in the UN Security Council was instructed with drafting a resolution, calling on the United States to cancel its decision to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The diplomat reiterated that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas will not meet with US Vice President Michael Pence, who is expected to visit the region later this month.

"There will be no official contacts between Palestinian and US officials," he said. "We will look for a new mediator among our Arab brothers and other international community members, a mediator who will help us forge a two-state solution."

Speaking at the White House on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump stated that time has come to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and ordered the Department of State to start preparations for moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to this city.

Jerusalem’s status is one of the major problems in the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Israelis occupied the eastern part of the city during the war of 1967 and they insist that Jerusalem is the "single and indivisible" capital of Israel. Palestinians, for their part, want to make the eastern part of the city the capital of their state.

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