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Following the US administration cutting funding to UNRWA, Abbas emphasizes that the number of Palestinian refugees is 6.5 million, as opposed to the 40,000 the US considers refugees

Headline: "Discussing the developments in the Palestinian territories with his French counterpart in Paris – the [PA] president: We rely on the French position, we and France are proud of the speech by [France's] representative at the [UN] Security Council"

"[PA] President Mahmoud Abbas emphasized that we have not rejected negotiations as the Israelis say, and that the rejection has always been on the part of [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu.
After his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, held yesterday [Sept. 21, 2018] in the Élysée Palace in the capital, Paris, the [PA] president said to journalists… that 'The Europeans are working seriously in order to make up for what the US did regarding UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East) (refers to US cutting aid to UNRWA; see note below –Ed.) – and by the way, [the Americans] said that the number of [Palestinian] refugees is 40,000, but of course we have 6.5 million refugees.'"

US President Donald Trump's administration announced on Aug. 31, 2018 that it was immediately cutting all $360 million of annual American funding to UNRWA (UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East). Explaining the decision, the US State Department said, "The fundamental business model and fiscal practices that have marked UNRWA for years – tied to UNRWA’s endlessly and exponentially expanding community of entitled beneficiaries – is simply unsustainable and has been in crisis mode for many years. The United States will no longer commit further funding to this irredeemably flawed operation."
The move came after the US froze two planned payments to UNRWA in early January 2018 for more than $100 million, and the US administration spoke about the need to reexamine and conduct a reform of the UN body. This occurred after the PA refused to negotiate with Israel and cut diplomatic ties with America following US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital on Dec. 6, 2017.