U.S. President Joe Biden expressed his desire for a two-state solution during a joint press conference at the Muqata’a Presidential Compound in Bethlehem, West Bank with Palestinian National Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
“Two states along the 1967 lines, where mutually agreed-to swaps, remain the best way to achieve equal measure of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for the Palestinians as well as Israelis,” Biden was quoted as saying July 15 during the event, according to an official readout posted by The White House’s press department.
“The Palestinian people deserve a state of their own that’s independent, sovereign, viable, and contiguous. Two states for two peoples, both of whom have deep and ancient roots in this land, living side by side in peace and security. Both states fully respecting the equal rights of the other citizens,” Biden said.
For Biden, the trip to Israel is his 10th. The U.S. president has known and had a relationship with every single Israeli prime minister since Golda Meir, according to The White House. The trip comes as U.S. households grapple with rising inflation, energy and fuel costs due to the onset of Russia’s invasion in Ukraine and ongoing supply chain issues across all sectors.
Abbas said the meeting was an opportunity to discuss issues related to consolidating military relations while reviewing what the U.S. could do to “contribute to prepare the atmosphere for a political horizon for a just, comprehensive, durable peace.”
“We have stressed to Mr. President Biden on the importance of reestablishing the foundations upon which the peace process was based—that is based on the international legitimacy resolutions and on the basis of the two-state solution along the 1967 borders,” Abbas said.
Biden’s stop in the West Bank is part of his tour of the Middle East to discuss issues with leaders in the region ranging from Biden’s and the U.S.’ support for Israel, the war in Ukraine amid ongoing Russian aggressions, food security and advancing issues related to clean energy, among other themes, according to details revealed by The White House on his website.
Biden also participated in the first I2U2 summit with the leaders of Israel, India, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to discuss ways they can work together to address global headwinds.
In Saudi Arabia, Biden is expected to discuss issues ranging from the Saudis opening their air space to all civilian carriers to wars in the Middle East and the Yemen ceasefire, Biden said July 15 in remarks during a press event in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. He added that he hopes to also address clean energy initiatives focused on green hydrogen, solar, carbon capture, nuclear and other projects.
While in Saudi Arabia, Biden is expected to participate in the GCC+3 Summit on July 16.
Republican lawmakers have been nothing short of silent about Biden’s trip to the Gulf State and what it means for U.S. oil and gas producers.
“A fist bump for the Saudis and the middle finger to Texas, Colorado, Alaska, North Dakota, and New Mexico, who stand ready to produce the oil Biden is begging Saudi Arabia for,” U.S. Congressman Byron Donalds wrote in a Twitter post on July 15. “America LAST,” he added.
Rep. Chip Roy said Biden’s “trip to Saudi Arabia is another slap to the face of American oil and gas producers. From day one, Biden has demonized reliable energy producers through his rhetoric and policies. Now he’s fist bumping Saudi royals. Despicable.”
“We must put an end to the unauthorized and unconstitutional involvement of U.S. Armed Forces in the catastrophic Saudi-led war in Yemen and Congress must take back its authority over war,” added U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a Democrat, in a July 14 Tweet.
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