UN chief backs two-state solution in talks with President Abbas

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The United Nations says Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and stressed again that a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the only path to peace.

Guterres’ strong backing for an independent Palestinian state came ahead of the release of a long-awaited US plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace and Israeli elections in April.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric says Guterres also congratulated Abbas during Monday’s meeting on the election of the Palestinians to preside over the Group of 77, a bloc of 134 mainly developing nations and China that promotes their collective interests at the United Nations.

Abbas will take over the chairmanship from Egypt on Tuesday.

As Abbas and his entourage left UN headquarters, Palestinian Ambassador Riyad Mansour told reporters: “It was a good meeting.”

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