US plays down Israeli report, commits to reopening consulate in Jerusalem


During a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken affirmed the Biden administration’s commitment to the two-state solution, stopping settlement expansion, preserving the status quo in Jerusalem. stopping expulsion of Palestinians from city neighborhoods and Israeli unilateral actions, Blinken also stressed US administration’s commitment to reopening the US Consulate in Jerusalem.

During the phone call he said that US administration will send a high-level delegation to prepare To visit President Biden and discuss all the issues raised by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas  in this call, and prepare the appropriate atmosphere for the success of President Biden’s visit to Palestine and the region according Palestinian Wafa news agency.

Also a State Department official said Tuesday that US remains committed to reopening a consulate in Jerusalem, playing down a recent Israeli report that Washington’s promise to do so had been shelved.

“We continue to believe it can be an important way for our country to engage with and provide support to the Palestinian people,” State Department Spokesman Ned Price told reporters during a briefing.

The Biden administration had vowed to reopen the diplomatic mission, which former US President Donald Trump shuttered after he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

But pushback from Israel has delayed the consulate’s reopening, and Price said Washington was holding discussions with Palestinians and Israelis over the matter. “There are a number of steps that go into the reopening of any diplomatic facility. As you know, there are some unique sensitivities to this particular facility,” Price said.

The Times of Israel, citing US and Palestinian officials, reported that the US had decided to take steps in place of not reopening the consulate.

According to the report, Hady Amr, the US official for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs, will become the special envoy to the Palestinians. But Price said there were no personnel movements to announce.



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