Manama, Jan. 10 (EFE) – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during a brief visit to the West Bank on Wednesday that the US supports “tangible steps” toward a Palestinian state, according to State Department spokesman Matthew Miller.
“The Secretary had a productive discussion with President Abbas about administrative reforms, which, if implemented, would benefit the Palestinian people,” added Miller’s statement.
Blinken spoke with Abbas about reforming the Palestinian Authority so that it can assume responsibility in Gaza and unite with the West Bank under Palestinian leadership.
“President Abbas made it clear to me that he is willing to move forward and participate in all of these efforts,” Blinken said in statements to the press.
Likewise, he pointed out that during his tour of the Middle East this week he has discussed with various leaders “the day after” in Gaza, as well as the work necessary for the Palestinian enclave to “recover,” an effort that the countries of the region are willing to undertake.
Blinken also said, “they want a region that includes Israel. They’re willing to do things, to make commitments, to provide assurances for Israel’s security. But that has to include the Palestinian piece,” Blinken said.
Blinken also stressed that the countries in the region want to prevent the conflict from spreading, but also to find a better way forward for the region and especially for the Palestinians and Israelis.
The PA has no control over the Gaza Strip, which has been ruled de facto by the Islamist group Hamas since 2007.
However, the US and part of the international community advocate the return of the PA to the Strip at the end of the war to prevent the return of Hamas or other extremist groups to power, but also to prevent colonization by Israel.
However, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems unwilling to cede control to the PA, insisting that Israel must maintain control of security in the Palestinian enclave. EFE