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US Ambassador: The US is not seeking 'to replace' Abbas

US Ambassador: The US is not seeking 'to replace' Abbas”

Interviewed for the latest edition of Shvi'i this week, Friedman was quoted as saying, "If Abbas is not interested in sitting with us and Israel, I'm sure we'll find another official to work with. The United States is not seeking "to replace" Mahmoud Abbas".

Abbas aide Nabil Abu Rdeneh said Thursday that the remarks constitute a "blatant interference in Palestinian affairs". His term expired in 2009 and there have been no elections in the Palestinian Authority since 2006.

Earlier this month, Abbas described Friedman as a "son of a dog" due to the ambassador's close ties to Israel's West Bank settler movement. "Calling me names will not improve the situation of the Palestinians".

Friedman also discussed recent personal attacks on his role by Abbas, telling the paper that such statements "only make it more hard for the United States to have serious talks with him..."

Friedman also told the newspaper about the Taylor Force Act, signed last week by Trump as part of an omnibus budget. Palestinian anger toward the US has threatened the prospects of a USA peace plan being drawn up by the White House.

A U.S. Embassy spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment.

"The message from Washington was clear - you can not show hostility toward American interests and continue to receive American aid as if nothing had happened", Friedman said.



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