Abbas to demand US move embassy to Tel Aviv

Palestinian President Abbas to ask Biden to move US embassy back to Tel Aviv
2 min read
09 November, 2020
Mahmoud Abbas has sent covert communications to Biden stating he is willing to return to US-brokered peace talks.
Abbas has already sent covert communications to Biden [Getty]
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to ask President-elect Joe Biden to return the US embassy to Tel Aviv, reports said on Sunday, after the embassy was relocated by Donald Trump to Jerusalem in a controversial move rejected by the international community.

Abbas has already sent covert communications to Biden stating that he is willing to return to US-brokered peace talks, according to Israel Hayom, which cited Palestinian Authority senior adviser Nabil Shaath.

But the Palestinian president stressed that peace talks will only occur if they are resumed from where they left off in 2016, under the Barack Obama administration.

Abbas will also request the US reopens the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington, which was shuttered in 2018, and renews aid through the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA), after Trump cut support.

Read also: Joe Biden set to roll back some of Trump's most controversial policies

Biden is expected to walk-back parts of Trump's record, notably by opposing Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied West Bank, which the president-elect has described as an obstacle to peace.   

He has also promised to restore "humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people" and would re-open a consulate in Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem "to engage the Palestinians".

But his 2020 campaign said he would not reverse Trump's embassy move, which at the time was rejected by the UN and the EU.

The Palestinian Authority had cut ties with Trump's administration, accusing it of being flagrantly pro-Israel. 

In a statement congratulating Biden and Harris, Abbas urged the incoming administration "to enhance the Palestinian-American relations".

Abbas said he wanted to work with the new administration "to achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for (the Palestinian) people".

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