US warns against scrapping Abbas talks


Jerusalem as capital
The US has warned Palestinians against cancelling talks with Vice-President Mike Pence, after Washington recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
A senior Palestinian official earlier said Mr Pence would not be welcome.
It would be “counterproductive” to scrap talks between Mr Pence and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas planned later this month, the US said.
President Donald Trump’s announcement on Jerusalem this week reversed decades of US policy on Jerusalem’s status.
On Thursday, at least 31 Palestinians were wounded in clashes in the Gaza Strip and across the occupied West Bank.
The clashes were triggered by Mr Trump’s policy shift. More protests are expected in Palestinian territories on Friday, with Israel deploying hundreds of extra troops in the West Bank.
The Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has already called for a new intifada, or uprising.
Trump announced the move on Wednesday. The US president said: “I’ve judged this course of action to be in the best interests of the United States of America and the pursuit of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”
He said he was directing the US state department to begin preparations to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Despite warnings of regional unrest over any such move, the decision fulfils a campaign promise and appeals to Mr Trump’s right-wing base.