Biden says the U.S. will work to improve Palestinians’ lives

U.S. President Joe Biden speaks at the Augusta Victoria Hospital in east Jerusalem on Friday. Biden introduced a U.S. funding of $100 million for a community of hospitals.

Evan Vucci/AP

President Joe Biden reiterated his dedication to the elusive “two-state solution” — the long-sought imaginative and prescient during which an unbiased Palestinian state and Israel coexist — on Friday, as he spoke alongside Palestinian chief Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Financial institution.

“The United States and my administration will not give up on trying to bring the Palestinians, Israelis and both sides closer together,” Biden stated. He added that he believes that with Israel bettering its relations with neighbors in the Center East, that momentum may “reinvigorate the peace process between the Palestinian people and the Israelis.”

However for the time being, each Abbas and Biden acknowledged that the political second isn’t but proper for peace talks to resume. Of their joint statements, Abbas urged Biden to proceed reversing Trump’s insurance policies on assist and different points, and Biden pledged to assist improve the day-to-day lives of Palestinian individuals.

“I know that the goal of the two states seems so far away, while indignities like restrictions on movement and travel or the daily worry of your children’s safety are real, and they are immediate,” Biden stated.

Biden famous that he reversed Trump’s determination to reduce off Palestinian assist, saying the U.S. offered greater than half a billion {dollars} in 2021. Biden stated the U.S. will situation a grant of $100 million for Palestinian well being care providers and supply $200 million to the U.N. Reduction and Works Company for Palestine Refugees in the Close to East (constructing on $400 million in 2021 assist).

In his personal remarks, Abbas requested Biden to reopen the U.S. Consulate in East Jerusalem, take away the PLO from any U.S. terrorism lists, and to pave the manner for the PLO to reopen its workplace in Washington — which was pressured to shut below Trump. Abbas additionally urged Biden to cease Israeli settlements and occupation.

After 74 years, Abbas stated, “isn’t it not the time for this occupation to end and for our steadfast people again to gain their freedom and independence?”

Biden met Abbas after spending two days in Israel

Biden’s remarks got here as he continued his first journey to the Center East as president. He kicked off the journey with a two-day go to to Israel, the place he signed a declaration with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid saying Iran would by no means safe nuclear weapons.

His Friday go to to the occupied West Financial institution is an try to restore a relationship that was severely strained below former President Donald Trump.

Earlier Friday, Biden visited the Augusta Victoria Hospital in East Jerusalem, the place he introduced a U.S. funding of $100 million for a community of six hospitals.

The president will subsequent go to Saudi Arabia

Biden will end his Center East tour with the most controversial leg: a go to to Saudi Arabia, the place he’ll meet Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

U.S. intelligence assessed that bin Salman accepted the 2018 operation that resulted in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Biden later stated he would make Saudi Arabia “the pariah that they are,” and he is been below strain from human rights teams over his determination to go to the kingdom.

A day earlier than his assembly with the crown prince, Biden stopped in need of saying he would elevate the situation of Khashoggi’s demise instantly, saying, “my views on Khashoggi have been made absolutely, positively clear.”

Upfront of Biden’s go to, Saudi Arabia introduced Friday it will permit civilian flights to cross its airspace from Israel, which permits airways to shorten their flight instances between Israel and international locations similar to India and China.

“As we mark this important moment, Saudi Arabia’s decision can help build momentum toward Israel’s further integration into the region, including with Saudi Arabia,” Biden stated in an announcement.

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