Biden to visit Saudi Arabia: Live Updates

Biden to visit Saudi Arabia: Live Updates
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Credit…Doug Mills / The New York Times

JERUSALEM – President Biden said on Friday that now is not the time to restart peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, but insisted that they remain committed to a two-state solution to their conflict and expressed hope that diplomatic agreements between Israel and Israel could be signed in 2020. and the four Arab states can give a new impetus to the peace process.

“Even if the ground is not ripe for a resumption of negotiations at this time, the United States and my administration will not stop trying to bring the Palestinians, the Israelis, and the two sides closer together,” he said. Biden said.

“At a time when Israel is improving relations with its neighbors throughout the region, we can use the same momentum to revive the peace process between the Palestinian people and the Israelis.” Biden added, referring to a series of agreements negotiated during the Trump administration, known as the Abraham Accords.

Mr. Biden said these words at a press conference after a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at a sad time for the Palestinians. The meeting took place in Bethlehem, the administrative center of Mr. Ramallah. Biden to briefly visit the Church of the Nativity, a fourth-century basilica that stands where tradition says Jesus was born.

His words followed the call of Mr. Abbas for Mr. Biden to help “prepare the atmosphere for a political horizon for a just, comprehensive, lasting peace.”

“Isn’t it time to end this occupation?” Mr. Abbas said at the press conference. “The key to peace and security in our region begins with the recognition of a Palestinian state,” he added, even as Saudi Arabia – the most powerful Arab country – took incremental steps to normalize relations with Israel for the first time on Friday.

“A two-state solution along the 1967 borders can only exist today,” the Palestinian leader said. “But we don’t know what will happen next.”

After a wild party in Israel, it was a busy morning for Mr. Biden, who has been greeted by protests by Palestinians in Jerusalem and Bethlehem, hours before a scheduled flight that could spark yet more difficult encounters in Saudi Arabia.

Mr. in Bethlehem. Biden said his commitment to the goal of a two-state solution has not changed, saying, “Two states with the mutually agreed upon land swap of 1967 remain the best way for Palestinians to achieve equal security, prosperity, freedom and democracy.” and Israelis.”

Mr. Abbas also pushed Mr. Biden will remove the Palestine Liberation Organization from the US terror list and reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem to Palestinians and the Palestine Liberation Organization mission in Washington that was closed under President Donald Trump.

Palestinian leadership is divided between the Palestinian Authority, which controls parts of the West Bank, and the Islamist militant group Hamas, which seized control of Gaza in 2007. shows the last request.

The blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt in Gaza is in its 15th year. In 2021, one out of every four Palestinians was unemployed. 7 out of 10 Palestinians believe that a Palestinian state is no longer possible due to the expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. request. About 80 percent want the resignation of Mr. President Abbas, who last faced elections in 2005, and the vast majority consider both the government and Hamas to be corrupt.

Against this backdrop, many Palestinians are disillusioned with the Biden administration, with 65 percent opposing dialogue between their leadership and the United States. Although the Biden administration has often called for a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict — and Mr. Biden reiterated that call on Thursday – with analysts agreeing that his words and actions are not matching.

on the eve of Mr. The White House announced Biden’s visit a number of financial measures It was intended to improve Palestinian life, but it halted the political process to create a Palestinian state and left several Trump-era measures in place.

In his speech on Friday, Mr. Biden also called on the Palestinian Authority to do more to clean up its house.

“If you don’t mind my word, the Palestinian Authority has important work to do,” Biden said. “Now is the time to strengthen Palestinian institutions to improve governance, transparency and accountability. Now is the time to unleash the incredible potential of the Palestinian people through greater participation and civil society to fight corruption, advance rights and freedoms, and improve community services.”

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