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Biden denies PA request to call for East Jerusalem as future Palestinian capital

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

US President Joe Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands after their statements to the media at the Muqataa Presidential Compound in the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank on July 15, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)
US President Joe Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands after their statements to the media at the Muqataa Presidential Compound in the city of Bethlehem in the West Bank on July 15, 2022. (Ahmad Gharabli/AFP)

US President Joe Biden refrains from recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, as the Palestinian Authority had been pushing for him to do in talks ahead of Mahmoud Abbas’s meeting with the US president, according to an official in Ramallah.

Biden instead suffices by saying “Jerusalem is central to the national visions of both Palestinians and Israelis — to your histories, to your faiths, to your futures.”

“Jerusalem must be a city for all its people” where the status quo is preserved at its holy sites where Jordan maintains a custodial role, Biden adds.

“Throughout this holy land filled with so many places of significance to Muslims, Christians and Jews, we must all be free to practice our faith.”

While he doesn’t recognize East Jerusalem, his support for the pre-1967 borders when that part of the city was not under Israeli control does appear to represent de facto backing for the Palestinian goal, though the PA had been hoping he would say so more explicitly.

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