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US committed to two-state solution, says Blinken amid West Bank violence

US Secretary of State Antony J Blinken. Photo: State Department/Ronny Przysucha

Washington, May 13 (MNN) The US has said that it remains committed to to a two-state solution in West Asia and that the violence in Israel, the West Bank and Gaza takes us further away from that goal.

“We fully support Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself. We’ve condemned and I condemn again the rocket attacks in the strongest possible terms. We believe Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live with safety and security and we’ll continue to engage with Israelis, Palestinians, and other regional partners to urge de-escalation and to bring calm, US Secretary of State Anthony J Blinken said at the release of the 2020 International Religious Freedom Report on Wednesday (local time).

Blinken also spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the violence in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza.

The US Secretary expressed his condolences for the lives lost during his call to Abbas on Wednesday (local time) and also condemned the rocket attacks during the violence, US State Department Spokesperson Ned Price said on Thursday.

Blinken emphasised the need to de-escalate tensions and bring the current violence to an end.

The Secretary also expressed his belief that Palestinians and Israelis deserve equal measures of freedom, dignity, security and prosperity.

The Secretary conveyed his best wishes for Eid and that peace and calm may prevail.

Price said that Blinken also spoke on Wednesday (local time) with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and expressed concerns regarding the barrage of rocket attacks on Israel, his condolences for the lives lost as a result, and the US strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

Both leaders discussed the ongoing violence in Jerusalem, and the Secretary reiterated his call on all parties to deescalate tensions and bring a halt to the violence.

The Secretary emphasised the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.

Blinken and Netanyahu acknowledged the steadfast partnership between the US and Israel and committed to working together on challenges ahead.

Speaking at the release of the 2020 International Religious Freedom Report, Blinken said that the US was deeply concerned about what was happening in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza.

“Images that came out overnight are harrowing and the loss of any civilian life is a tragedy. I’ve asked Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hady Amr to go to the region immediately to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders,” he said.

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