US President Joe Biden on Thursday reaffirmed US support for a two-state solution to the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a day ahead of a planned meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
Biden’s visit was met with deep skepticism from Palestinians, whose concerns over issues such as self-determination and settlement building in the occupied West Bank have been sidelined by efforts to reconcile Israel with regional security agreements with Arab states.
They also say Washington has failed to fulfill promises made by former US President Donald Trump to reopen the embassy to Palestinians in Jerusalem, which was closed in 2019.
In a statement following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid, Biden said the United States wanted to see “a lasting negotiated peace between the State of Israel and the Palestinian people.”
“Israel must be a free, democratic Jewish state,” he said.
“The best way to achieve this remains a two-state solution for two peoples with deep and ancient roots in this land, living side by side in peace and security.”
However, he did not give details and did not talk about restarting the stalled process to reach an agreement between the two sides.
A two-state solution with an independent Palestinian state alongside the current state of Israel has been the preferred solution of the international community, but it appears to be a remote prospect opposed by broad sections of Israeli politics.
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