U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken spoke on Monday with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and with Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.
According to the U.S. State Department, Blinken made the rare phone call to Abbas as part of efforts to “prioritize re-engagement with the Palestinian people and Palestinian Authority” and discuss “the need to improve quality of life for the Palestinian people in tangible ways.”
Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to the two-state solution and emphasized the need for reform within the Palestinian Authority.
“Israelis and Palestinians alike deserve to live with equal measures of security, freedom, prosperity and crucially, dignity,” Blinken told Abbas.
The PA’s official news agency WAFA published a recap of the conversation which implies that the U.S. is still committed to reopening the Jerusalem consulate for the Palestinians. However, State Department spokesperson Ned Price declined to comment in a press briefing whether the call between the two even covered the matter.
In a readout of the call from Abbas’ office, the Palestinian president stressed the need “to stop the unilateral Israeli practices that undermine the two-state solution.” Abbas had told Blinken that Israel must “stop the abuse of prisoners” and the “withholding of taxes.”
The PA emphasized that Blinken expressed the administration’s opposition to Israeli settlement activity in the West Bank.
In his call with Lapid, Blinken talked of “the strong U.S.-Israel relationship and shared challenges, including the risks of further Russian aggression against Ukraine as well as the threats posed by Iran,” the Foreign Ministry statement read.
“Blinken reiterated the administration’s steadfast commitment to Israel’s security,” it said.
Blinken and Lapid also discussed Israeli-Palestinian relations.