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Palestinians look ahead to ‘positive’ US role under President-elect Biden

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The Palestinian Authority and Arab League said Sunday they look forward to the new US administration under President-elect Joe Biden playing a “positive” role toward establishing an independent Palestinian state.

PA president Mahmud Abbas and Ahmed Aboul Gheit, head of the Cairo-based Arab League, held talks in the Egyptian capital on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in light of the US presidential election.

They hoped the new US administration would “pave the way for the restoration of a more active and positive role” to find a settlement and establish a Palestinian state, in a joint statement.

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Abbas has called on Biden to revive ties between the Palestinians and Washington that collapsed during President Donald Trump’s term.

The PA broke ties with Trump’s administration, accusing it of being flagrantly pro-Israeli.

Trump, for his part, cut funding to the UN agency for Palestinian refugees (UNRWA).

He also recognized Jerusalem, including its annexed eastern sector, as Israel’s “undivided capital” and moved the US embassy to the city.

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Trump avoided criticizing Jewish settlement construction in the occupied West Bank, breaking with decades of US policy that settlement expansion was an obstacle to peace.

In January, he unveiled a controversial Middle East peace plan without input from the Palestinians, who have rejected it outright.

Abbas is on a regional tour aimed at raising support for the Palestinians.

He met earlier Sunday with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and is to also hold talks in Cairo with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on Monday.

The king, at their meeting in Jordan’s Red Sea resort of Aqaba, reiterated calls for a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians.