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Palestinians Welcome US ‘Step-by-Step’ Policy to Restore Relations

Palestinians Welcome US ‘Step-by-Step’ Policy to Restore Relations

Sunday, 4 April, 2021 - 09:45
Gaza City amid restrictions imposed on Saturday to curb the COVID-19 pandemic. (EPA)

A Palestinian Authority source welcomed Saturday the “step-by-step” policy taken by US President Joe Biden’s administration to restore relations with it.

Political and security contacts have resumed since Biden took office, he told Asharq Al-Awsat, adding that relations are expanding and slowly progressing.

Both parties aim to resume diplomatic ties that were cut under former US President Donald Trump administration, the source noted.

Palestinians have demanded holding an international peace conference, reopening of the Palestinian Liberation Organization’s (PLO) office in Washington, renewing US financial aid to the PA and the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) and revoking the US designation of the PLO as a “terrorist organization,” the source explained.

Last week, Washington transferred $15 million to help the PA fight the third wave of the coronavirus.

Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh described it as “an important step” in the right direction to reshape the relationship with the US administration.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Friday with Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

“The Secretary emphasized the administration’s belief that Israelis and Palestinians should enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity and democracy,” Spokesperson Ned Price stated.

Blinken reiterated Washington’s strong commitment to Israel and its security and looks forward to strengthening all aspects of the US-Israel partnership, he added.

Both sides also discussed the humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people and the normalization of relations with Arab and Muslim majority countries.

Blinken’s remarks indicate a major change in the new administration’s approach in addressing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Palestinians are betting on a radical change in the US position since Biden came to power.

Another indication of this change is the State Department’s recognition on Wednesday of Israel’s control of the West Bank as an “occupation.”

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