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Palestinian Official: We Did Not Run Away From Negotiations

FILE - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas speaks during a Security Council meeting on the situation in Palestine, Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2018 at United Nations headquarters.

A senior Palestinian official has objected to President Donald Trump's assertion that the Palestinians have walked away from peace negotiations.

Mohammed Ishtayeh, a top adviser to President Mahmoud Abbas, says the Trump administration has pushed the Palestinians away from any peace process by taking a series of steps in favor of Israel.

"When ... President Trump says the Palestinians are running away from the negotiating table, which negotiating table?" Ishtayeh told foreign journalists. "Since he came to power, there have been no negotiations whatsoever."

Ishtayeh criticized the U.S. decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and to move its embassy there in May, as well as U.S. cuts in funding to the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees.

He called for U.S. "confidence-building steps" and an internationally sponsored peace process.