American ducks wonder if East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine

American ducks wonder if East Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine
On Monday, US State Department spokesman Ned Price avoided a question about whether the Biden administration considered east Jerusalem Capital of a future Palestinian state.

In a State Department statement in Washington, he declined to comment on whether the United States would fund the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Price made clear that there have been no high-level talks between US officials and the Palestinian Authority since President Joe Biden took office on January 20.

Biden was careful of some of his positions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But he made some clarifications last week when the United States published its 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights, in which the Trump administration affirmed the 2017 declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.

The report did not mention whether East Jerusalem is the capital of a future Palestinian state, although the Biden administration was clear that it supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Separately, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken clarified that the US embassy will remain in Jerusalem.

At the State Department press conference, Associated Press reporter Matt Lee attempted to comment Price on ambitious elements in US policy regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“Do you still believe that the two-state solution will lead to the Palestinians having a capital in East Jerusalem?” Asked.

Price replied, “These are not yes questions – no, Matt – just to clarify.”

Lee replied, “Yes, but it is yes or no.”

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“There has been no change in our position in Jerusalem, and of course Jerusalem is the final status issue that will be negotiated by the two parties,” said Price.

He told me, “But the previous administration declared Jerusalem the capital of Israel.”

“There has been no change in our position in Jerusalem,” Price said.

Likewise, he had little to say when another reporter questioned him about whether the Biden administration would restore funding for UNRWA, which was canceled by former President Donald Trump. Under the Obama administration, the United States made an annual contribution to the agency of more than $ 350 million.

Price confirmed that the United States intends to provide the Palestinians with funding, noting that it has already pledged $ 15 million. For Covid-19 Epidemic help. But he will not commit to re-financing UNRWA.

He added, “We are looking at ways in which we can provide assistance to the Palestinians, including the Palestinian refugees.”

Price spoke of the Biden administration’s commitment to restore diplomatic relations between the United States and the Palestinians, which were severed during Trump’s four-year term.

He said, “We have made it clear that one of the priorities of this administration is to involve the Palestinian people as well as the Palestinian leadership.”

High-level talks have taken place between the Trump administration and the Palestinian Authority.

But Biden never spoke to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas or Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Muhammad Shtayyeh. Blinken did not speak to Palestinian Authority Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

In contrast, Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and Blinken held three talks with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi.

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