Biden administration planning to 'reset US relations' with Palestinians

Biden administration planning to 'reset US relations' with Palestinians following Trump-era breakdown
2 min read
18 March, 2021
The Biden administration could take a tougher stance on Israeli settlements and offer a $15 million coronavirus aid package for the Palestinians, according to a draft memo.
The memo will reportedly push for a two-state solution along pre-1967 lines [Getty]

The United States is drafting plans to renew ties with the Palestinians, following a breakdown in relations under the Trump administration, according to a draft internal memo.

The memo, titled 'The US Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward', will renew efforts for a two-state solution, according to the Abu Dhabi-based The National news website.

It will reportedly see the US take a tougher stance on Israeli settlements and offer a $15 million coronavirus aid package for the Palestinians. The aid package could be rolled out as early as the end of March, according to reports.

Sources familiar with the memo told Reuters that the plan is still in an early "working stage". However, it could form the basis of a rollback from former US President Donald Trump's approach to Middle East peace, which was seen as heavily favouring Israel.

Another Reuters source who spoke on condition of anonymity said a final version of the memo would require inter-agency review.

The memo has been publicly acknowledged by Washington.

"We don't have any comments on that specific memo," US State Department spokeswoman Jalina Porter said at a daily press briefing.

Relations between Washington and the Palestinians deteriorated to new lows under the Trump administration, which oversaw a break with decades of US convention the on Middle East. 

During Trump's time in office, Israeli claims over Jerusalem were boosted by Washington's recognition of the city as Israel's capital. Trump was also seen as giving tacit approval to illegal settlement activity, which accelerated under his watch.

Aides to President Joe Biden have said they intend to revive ties with the Palestinians, however, they have treaded carefully ahead of upcoming elections in both Israel and the Palestinian territories.

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