The Obama Administration Sets Dangerous Precedent By Deciding Not To Shut Down the PLO Office In Washington, D.C., Ros-Lehtinen Says

Jan 14, 2013 Issues: Foreign Affairs


Washington, DC – Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), former Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, now serving as Chairman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, made the following statement in response to the Obama Administration’s decision to keep the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) office in Washington, D.C. open. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“Last month, I led a strong bipartisan effort in the House of Representatives to urge President Obama to take action against the PLO for its unilateral efforts at the UN to change the status of the West Bank and Gaza. This act by the Palestinian leadership was in clear violation of the Oslo Accords and only further demonstrated that Abbas is not an earnest partner in the peace process with Israel.

“The policy of the United States should be to send a clear message to the Palestinian leadership by closing the PLO office in Washington, D.C. to signify that these actions have consequences. I am disappointed, though not surprised, to learn that the Administration will keep the PLO office in Washington, D.C. open.

The only way to remedy this is by denying the president waiver authority on this issue. This decision by the Administration sets a dangerous precedent and illustrates that President Obama is not willing to hold the Palestinian leadership accountable when it violates their international obligations.”

NOTE: On December 21, 2012, Ros-Lehtinen, along with over 235 Members of Congress, sent a letter to President Obama calling for the closing of the PLO office in Washington, D.C. and for the U.S. to use all possible means at its disposal to discourage the General Assembly from elevating the PLO in any international bodies within the UN.