Senate Votes To Limit Trump's Power To Lift Russia Sanctions


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is insisting that the Palestinian government has agreed to stop paying salaries to militants' families, even as both the Palestinians and Israelis dispute it.

The comments by Mr. Tillerson, in testimony before the House Foreign Relations Committee, appeared to mark a departure from longstanding US policy and represents a potential break from other world powers, including Germany and France, who have supported the cease-fire and peace accords reached in Minsk, Belarus, in 2014 and 2015.

Tillerson in his remarks before the Senate committee, speaking about the Palestinians, said: "We have been very clear with them that this is simply not acceptable to us".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., U.S., June 13, 2017.

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.

"President Trump raised his concerns about payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails who have committed terrorist acts, and to their families, and emphasized the need to resolve this issue", the White House said at the time.

Asked if China had lived up to its pledges to crack down on the North, Tillerson said its actions had been "uneven", but added: "They have taken steps, visible steps that we can confirm".

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Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman expressed skepticism on Wednesday.

Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Karake said the payments must continue, calling them a "national, social and humanitarian duty".

Castro asked Tillerson to account for a series of occasions when his foreign policy statements were at odds with the President's, including a recent incident where President Trump seemed to praise Gulf nations for their isolation of Qatar, just hours after Tillerson said the blockade was hampering United States military efforts against ISIS. "We are following this closely". "Attaching payments as recognition of violence or murder is something the American people could never accept or understand'".

The "martyrs' fund" was set up in 1967 by the Palestine Liberation Organization, the group that formally represents all Palestinians. "The Palestinian Authority continues to praise, incite to and encourage terror through financial support".

Its 2016 budget was $125 million, according to the website of the Palestinian Authority's Finance Ministry.

"It is important as we engage with them that we are able to fulfill our commitments to Taiwan, which we have every intention of doing", Tillerson told a congressional committee.