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In first correspondence since US election, Biden sends letter to Abbas

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

A senior US diplomat hand-delivered a letter from President Joe Biden to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday, a White House National Security Council spokesman tells The Times of Israel, confirming what appears to be the first correspondence the American leader has had with his Palestinian counterpart since taking office.

“Earlier this year, President Abbas sent a letter congratulating President Biden on the election. Palestinian Affairs Unit Chief George Noll delivered President Biden’s response,” the spokesman says, declining to reveal the contents of the letter, which appeared to have been drafted prior to the recent escalation of violence in Israel and Gaza.

Mahmoud Abbas, left, and Joe Biden after their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Wednesday, March 10, 2010. (AP/Bernat Armangue)

The official PA news agency WAFA says the letter dealt with “the latest political developments, the current situation and bilateral relations between the United States and the State of Palestine.”

“This is part of this administration’s ongoing outreach with the Palestinian leadership on a range of issues of mutual interest, including ongoing efforts to de-escalate violence and restore calm,” the NSC spokesperson says.

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