U.N. Envoy: Biden Backs Two-State Solution, Will Reinstate Palestinian Mission, Aid

Joe Biden and Yasser Arafat (Atef Safadi / Associated Press / Pool)
Atef Safadi / Associated Press / Pool

President Joe Biden plans to reopen the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington shuttered by the Trump administration as well as reinstate aid to the Palestinians, acting U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Mills told the Security Council on Tuesday.

Biden’s Middle East policy “will be to support a mutually agreed, two-state solution, in which Israel lives in peace and security, alongside a viable Palestinian state,” Mills said.

He added the measures are “not a substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace” and called on the two sides to avoid unilateral actions that could hamper the prospects for a two-state solution  – including, on Israel’s part, settlement construction and declaring Israeli sovereignty over parts of the West Bank and on the part of the Palestinians, payments to convicted terrorists and their families.

The Trump administration cut aid to the Palestinians over its boycott of the U.S. as well as its so-called pay-for-slay scheme.

The two-state solution, largely seen as a staple of foreign policy by U.S. administrations prior to President Donald Trump’s, has been lambasted by many critics as being an abject failure that does not take into account facts on the ground.

In 2018, Trump closed the Palestinian mission in Washington, expelling the Palestinian Ambassador to the U.S., Hussam Zomlot.

Zomlot last week hailed the end of  Trump’s presidency and celebrated “standing tall against the bully.”

“Trump left the White House. We, the Palestinian people, its leadership, my wife & children who were removed from the US because of Trump, have reason to celebrate. We stood tall & immune against [the] bully. We stay standing until there is freedom, justice & equality for the Palestinian people,” Zomlot said.

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