U.S. President Joe Biden (L) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attend a joint news conference in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, July 15, 2022. (Palestinian presidency/Handout via Xinhua)
BETHLEHEM, July 15 (Xinhua) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Friday said he was looking forward to U.S. steps to reopen its consulate in East Jerusalem and remove the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) from the list of terrorism.
Abbas also demanded the reopening of the PLO office in Washington when attending a joint news conference at the end of the meeting with visiting U.S. President Joe Biden in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. The conference was aired live on state-run Palestine TV.
Abbas noted that "the opportunity for a two-state solution on the 1967 borders may be available today, and we do not know what will happen in the future, and it may not remain for a long time."
Abbas stressed the importance of restoring the foundations on which the peace process was based.
The Palestinian leader also called for resolving the Palestinian refugee issue, adding that "this begins with ending the Israeli occupation of the occupied Palestinian territories and establishing the state of Palestine, with East Jerusalem as its capital, on the 1967 borders."
During the press conference, Biden announced an additional 200 million U.S. dollars in funding for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to continue its critical role in the region.
While announcing his commitment to the goal of a two-state solution had not changed, Biden admitted that "the goal of the two-state solution may seem unattainable."
Bethlehem is the second stop of Biden's trip to the Middle East after Israel. After his visit to Bethlehem, Biden traveled to Saudi Arabia, the last leg of his trip. ■
U.S. President Joe Biden (L) meets with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, July 15, 2022. (Palestinian presidency/Handout via Xinhua)