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Tillerson: US committed to 'One China' policy, also Taiwan

26 June 2017

At a House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting Tuesday, Tillerson said that he agrees with Congress that Russian Federation needs to be punished for meddling in the 2016 election, but asked lawmakers for "flexibility".

"They have changed their policy", Tillerson said, referring to the Palestinians, Reuters reported.

"Israel is unaware of any change of Palestinian policy", said the second official. "The question is not if that move happens, but only when", Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on June 1. The official went on to emphasize that "the Palestinian Authority continues to praise, incite and encourage terrorism with these payments".

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U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has urged lawmakers not to restrict the White House's ability to negotiate with Russian Federation, as the Senate moves closer to cementing existing sanctions against Moscow and imposing new ones.

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While the prisoners are widely regarded in the Palestinian society as heroes who sacrificed their lives or freedom for the liberation of their homeland, the Israeli society sees all of them as "terrorists".

United States senators, both Republicans and Democrats among them, agreed on new restrictive measures against Russian Federation on Tuesday.

Echoing views of the majority of members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Chris Murphy said to many people who follow USA foreign policy, the withdrawal of American leadership from the world in the first several months of the Trump administration looked deliberate.

There was also confusion about whether Tillerson was assured that payments to the terrorists and their families and widows would be stopped or just to the terrorists.

Tillerson rejected that notion, saying "there are countries that we've had to withdraw support and, again, these are some of the hard choices that I've mentioned".

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Secretary Tillerson says U.S. -Russia relations are at a new low and he's trying to stabilize that.

Congress is now considering legislation, dubbed the Taylor Force Act, that would cease all USA aid to the Palestinian government until it can certify these payments have stopped.

The "martyrs' fund" was set up in 1967 by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the group that formally represents all Palestinians.

Israel argues that such stipends promote violence. The stabbing, shooting and vehicular attacks were a near-daily occurrence for several months, but have subsided recently.

However, Abbas has taken some steps to stop payments in recent weeks, following meetings he held with President Donald Trump in Washington at the start of May and later the same month when the president visited the region. Support for prisoners is a Palestinian consensus issue, despite the political split between Hamas, which rules Gaza, and the West Bank-based government of Abbas' Fatah movement.

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