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Biden tells Abbas Israel’s integration in region can help progress Palestinian cause — US security adviser

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

US President Joe Biden and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas speak together 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 speak together 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)

JEDDAH — US President Joe Biden “made the case” to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas when they met earlier today in Bethlehem that Israel’s integration in the region can “reinforce” progress on the Palestinian track, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan tells reporters in a gaggle aboard Air Force One from Israel to Jeddah.

The PA has been opposed to the Abraham Accords, viewing it as a process that strips Ramallah of its veto over Arab countries who for years said they would not normalize ties with Israel without a resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Abbas hinted at the same stance when he voiced his support for the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative during a press conference with Biden. The proposal offers Israel full normalized relations with all 22 members of the Arab League if Israel agrees to a two-state solution based on the 1967 borders and with a just resolution for Palestinian refugees.

The plan was never welcomed by Israel, which now argues that the Abraham Accords prove that the two-decade-old proposal is no longer relevant.

Biden told Abbas during their meeting that the US would “do what it can to preserve the long-term probability of the two-state solution,” Sullivan says.

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