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January 28, 2021

At UN, Washington assures support for two-state solution in Middle East

World

January 28, 2021

NEW YORK: US President Joe Biden’s administration supports a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and will overturn several Trump administration decisions, the acting US envoy to the United Nations assured the Security Council on Tuesday.

The Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem as its capital, all territory captured by Israel in 1967. However, under a failed peace proposal by former President Donald Trump, Washington would have recognized Jewish settlements in occupied territory as part of Israel.

Acting US envoy to the U.N., Richard Mills, told the Security Council Washington would urge Israel and the Palestinians “to avoid unilateral steps that make a two-state solution more difficult, such as annexation of territory, settlement activity, demolition, incitement to violence and providing compensation for individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism”. “We hope it will be possible to start working to slowly build competence on both sides to create an environment in which we might once again be able to help advance a solution,” Mills told the 15-member body. He said the Biden administration intended to restore Palestinian aid and take steps to re-open the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington. Under Trump, Washington cut some $360 million in annual funding for the U.N. agency supporting Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).