US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, left, meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, on March 27, 2022, in the West Bank city of Ramallah. (JACQUELYN MARTIN / POOL / AFP)
RAMALLAH/JERUSALEM - Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday told visiting US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories must end through a political solution.
During a meeting with Blinken in the West Bank city of Ramallah, Abbas stressed the need to resolve all permanent status issues, including the refugee issue, and the release of all prisoners, under the auspices of the International Quartet and under international resolutions, Palestine's official news agency WAFA reported.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called on the US to implement its commitment to the two-state solution by stopping Israeli settlement and settlers' assaults, preserving the historical situation in al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, and prohibiting Israel's unilateral actions
Abbas called on the US to implement its commitment to the two-state solution by stopping Israeli settlement and settlers' assaults, preserving the historical situation in al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem, and prohibiting Israel's unilateral actions.
Abbas also demanded that the US consulate in East Jerusalem be reopened, and that US laws designating the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) as a "terrorist organization that encourages incitement" be repealed.
Abbas told Blinken that current events in Europe showed "blatant double standards, despite the crimes of the Israeli occupation," according to the report.
"The continuation of the unilateral Israeli measures will soon lead to the implementation of the Palestinian Central Council decisions that called for the termination of commitments to all agreements signed with Israel," Abbas was quoted as saying.
For his part, Blinken reiterated the US commitment to the two-state solution principle and pledged to prevent any party from taking any action to raise the level of tension.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, right, and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken shake hands during a press statement after their meeting at the prime minister's office in Jerusalem, on March 27, 2022. (ABIR SULTAN / POOL VIA AP)
Blinken said on Sunday that his country has an "ironclad commitment" to Israel.
The remark was made at a joint press conference after his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett in Jerusalem.
"Deal or no deal, we will continue to work together and with other partners to counter Iran's destabilizing behavior in the region," said Blinken, whose regional tour also focuses on calming the US allies in the Middle East over the emerging renewed nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
For his part, Bennett said that Israel is "concerned" about the US intention to remove Iran's Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) from the US list of "foreign terrorist organizations," adding he hopes the United States will listen to "concerned voices" from the region on the issue, according to a statement from the Israeli prime minister's office.
The two officials also discussed Israeli efforts to mediate on the crisis between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the "warming in relations between Israel and the countries of the region, particularly the strengthening of the Abraham Accords."
Blinken will later participate in a historic meeting with Arab foreign ministers from Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt in the Negev Desert in southern Israel.
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