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Palestinian envoy returning to Washington after consultations over Jerusalem

Palestinian envoy returning to Washington after consultations over Jerusalem
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The Palestinian envoy to the United States is returning to Washington, D.C. after consulting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas over President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to fundraise for 3 Republicans running for open seats: report Trump to nominate former Monsanto exec to top Interior position White House aides hadn’t heard of Trump's new tax cut: report MORE's decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, the BBC reports.

Husam Zomlot tells the news service that Abbas instructed him to return to Washington "immediately" following Abbas's declaration Sunday that he would not accept any peace plan proposed by the U.S. following Trump's announcement.

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In a statement to the BBC, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Maliki said that Zomlot's conversation with Abbas was necessary to "set the decisions needed by the Palestinian leadership ... regarding our relations with the US."

Jerusalem is claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their respective capitals. In early December, Trump announced that the U.S. would formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and move the U.S. embassy there from Tel Aviv. The move was met with swift condemnations across the Arab world.

"This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It's also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done,” Trump said at the time.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the announcement as “historic” and an “important step toward peace.”

Palestinians, meanwhile, reacted with protests. The militant Palestinian Islamist group Hamas released a statement following the announcement warning Trump he had opened "the gates of hell" with his decision, and called for days of demonstrations.

U.S. allies around the world were also against the move, including U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May, who directly rebuked Trump over the decision.

"We believe it is unhelpful in terms of prospects for peace in the region," said May in a statement.