Photo Credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90
Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas addresses a rally commemorating the fifth anniversary of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's death, in Ramallah on Nov. 11, 2009.

Palestinian Authority (PA) Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh has called on President Joe Biden to cancel the US’ designation of the PLO as a terrorist organization and instead recognize it as a partner organization for peace.

In doing so, Shtayyeh is calling for a reversal of the 1987 decision of the US Congress that designated the PLO as a terrorist organization.

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“We are in touch with the Biden administration, and although what we heard during the election campaign is important, it should be translated on the ground and the consulate in east Jerusalem and the PLO office in Washington should be reopened and the aid to UNRWA should be renewed,” said a Shtayyeh at the 13th Arafat conference on Sunday

He stressed that “the most important thing in our eyes is the publication of an order that sees the Palestinian Liberation Organization as a partner in peace.”

“We have been through a difficult time and now we are turning to renewal through the general election and the reconstruction of the Palestinian National Council,” he added.

Referring to the PA’s efforts to renew the diplomatic process with Israel, Shtayyeh said “our position is clear and is the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian state on the borders of June 4, 1967, with Jerusalem as its capital. We call on the international community to respond to Mahmoud Abbas’ initiative to hold a peace conference.”

In 1987, the US administration tried to close the PLO’s Palestinian information offices in Washington, D.C., following the enactment of the Counter-Terrorism Act, which declared the PLO a terrorist organization and banned all its activities. US courts rejected this claim but allowed for tighter oversight of the office.

Following the Palestinian declaration of independence in November 1988, the PLO recognized Israel and opened a dialogue between it and the US government.

President Bill Clinton’s election as president changed the official US attitude toward the PLO and the administration supported the establishment of a Palestinian state.

In September 1993, on the eve of the signing of the Oslo Accords between Israel and the PLO, Clinton announced the resumption of dialogue between the US and the PLO after it was suspended in 1990 due to the PLO’s refusal to condemn an ​​attack on Israel by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PLO), which is a member of the PLO.

Under President Barack Obama, relations between the US and the PA improved, and the Obama administration even supported the establishment of a Palestinian state under a permanent agreement with the State of Israel.

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Baruch reports on Arab affairs for TPS.