Abbas pushes for US recognition of Palestinian state in meeting with Blinken

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during their meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah, February 7, 2024. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands during their meeting in the West Bank town of Ramallah, February 7, 2024. (Mark Schiefelbein/AP)

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas receives US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Ramallah. The American top diplomat is on his fifth Mideast diplomacy tour since the start of the war.

In the meeting, Abbas presses for US recognition of a Palestinian state encompassing the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, and for full UN membership, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa. He stresses that peace and security can only be achieved through a two-state solution.

Abbas expresses his “disappointment” at an entry ban into the US approved last week by the House of Representatives against members of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), as well as Hamas and the Islamic Jihad, saying that the measure would “affect the American role” in shaping the politics of the region. The bill is yet to be approved by the Senate.

The PA leader further calls to increase efforts to halt the “Israeli aggression” and the displacement of the Palestinian people, both in Gaza and in the West Bank, and to put an end to settler attacks against Palestinians, particularly in the Jordan Valley.

Abbas also urges Blinken to increase pressure on Israel to release funds earmarked for Ramallah, which Israel has been holding under the claim that they may be transferred to Hamas.

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