Abbas congratulates Boris Johnson on becoming UK prime minister
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Abbas congratulates Boris Johnson on becoming UK prime minister

PA president sends telegram to new head of British government, who visited Ramallah in 2017 and backed two-state solution

Adam Rasgon is the Palestinian affairs reporter at The Times of Israel

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on March 8, 2017. (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)
British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson shakes hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah on March 8, 2017. (AFP Photo/Abbas Momani)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas congratulated Boris Johnson Wednesday on becoming the United Kingdom’s prime minister, the official PA news site Wafa reported.

Abbas conveyed his congratulations to Johnson in a telegram, the report said.

“In the name of the State of Palestine and its people and personally in my name, we present to you our heartfelt congratulations on the confidence that the members of the Conservative Party have granted you with your election as party head and your winning of the United Kingdom’s prime ministership,” Abbas wrote, according to the government news site.

“We wish you success in forming the next government and [accomplishing] everything that your friendly people want with regard to progress and prosperity.”

Johnson officially became the UK’s new prime minister on Wednesday after a meeting with Queen Elizabeth II, Buckingham Palace said in a statement.

Johnson, the former mayor of London and foreign secretary, won a vote on Tuesday to become the head of the Conservative Party, which paved the way for him to become the British leader.

Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II welcomes newly elected leader of the Conservative party Boris Johnson during an audience in Buckingham Palace, London on July 24, 2019. (Victoria Jones/POOL/AFP)

Abbas said he plans to work with Johnson to advance ties between the Palestinians and the UK.

“We affirm to you that we look forward to continuing to work together and coordinate with you to strengthen the friendly and cooperative relations between our two countries and peoples and achieve all of our aspirations with regard to stability, coexistence and peace in our region in accordance with adopted international references,” he said. “We wish to communicate with you in the coming period to discuss everything that will contribute to achieving these goals and opening new horizons in our bilateral relations.”

Johnson visited Ramallah in March 2017 while serving as Britain’s foreign secretary and met Abbas there.

Speaking to reporters during that visit, he expressed support for the two-state solution: “We remain committed to a two-state solution, to that vision, for the resolution of this conflict. You know, I really think it is possible.”

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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