The United States will continue its plan to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem while Washington restores relations with the Palestinians and is committed to creating a solution for both countries.
“As I said in May, we will move forward with the process of opening a consulate as part of strengthening that relationship with the Palestinians,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said at a press briefing Wednesday. But he did not say when the opening would take place.
The US supports efforts to advance lasting peace in the Middle East region, Blinken added, and will continue to “strengthen all aspects of the US-Israel partnership.”
The statement by the top US diplomat followed his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and United Arab Emirates Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The U.S. consulate in Jerusalem has been closed since 2019, and affairs with Palestine are handled by the embassy.
In May, Blinken announced US plans to reopen its consulate during a visit to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, where he held talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel has opposed Washington’s plans, calling reopening the consulate a “bad idea.”
In early September, Lapid told reporters at a news conference, “We know that the (Biden) administration has a different way of looking at this, but since it happened in Israel, we believe they are listening to us very carefully.”
The Biden administration has repeatedly said that a two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state that lives in peace side by side with a living, sovereign and democratic Palestinian state. (lt/ka)