Biden tells Abbas unilateral measures must be avoided for talks to work

The White House says US President Joe Biden told Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas that both sides need to avoid unilateral measures if peace talks with Israel are to restart.

Biden has disappointed the Palestinians by stating during his trip to the region that there are no prospects for Palestinian statehood in the near term. He said at a press conference alongside Abbas that the “ground is not ripe” for restarting peace talks.

“President Biden reiterated the importance of fostering a political horizon, and noted the United States stands ready to work with Israelis, Palestinians and regional stakeholders toward that goal,” the White House says in a readout of the meeting. “As he had relayed to Israeli leaders, President Biden conveyed to President Abbas that in order to create the conditions for negotiations, it was important for both parties to avoid unilateral measures.”

Biden also told Abbas that the US’s position on Jerusalem was unchanged.

“President Biden reiterated the US position that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, and that it continues to be the policy of the United States that the specific boundaries of sovereignty in Jerusalem must be resolved through final status negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement reads.

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