Biden administration lays out its policies on Israel-Palestine at the UN

A Palestinian boy sits on a bag of flour at an aid distribution centre run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency in Gaza City

US announces restoration of relations with Palestinians

The Biden administration plans to re-open Palestinian diplomatic missions that were shuttered under former President Donald Trump and restore USA aid to Palestine, the acting United States ambassador to the UN has announced.

President Biden's approach will be to support "a mutually agreed, two-state solution" to end decades of conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, says acting U.S. envoy to UN Richard Mills.

He said the Biden administration meant to restore Palestinian aid and take steps to re-open the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington. Food and medical aid initiatives, as well as educational programmes suffered, among other humanitarian efforts.

Trump cut off funding for the U.N. Relief and Works Agency known as UNRWA, which was established to aid the 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes during the war surrounding Israel's establishment in 1948.

"In order to advance these objectives, the Biden administration will restore credible USA engagement with Palestinians as well as Israelis", he said.

"At the same time, the United States will maintain its steadfast support for Israel".

He added that Washington steadfastly supported its ally Israel and would continue to push back against any bias toward the country at the United Nations or other global bodies.

"The US will work to promote Israel's standing and participation in United Nations bodies and other global organisations", he continued.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands with Donald Trump after the unveiling of his vision for peace between Israel and the Palestinians at the White House
Biden administration to restore aid to Palestinians, fix 'atrophied' relations

Mills made clear the Biden administration's more even-handed approach to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

On Tuesday, almost all who spoke at the Security Council meeting reaffirmed the need for a two-state solution, under which Israel and a future Palestine would coexist.

Reiterating India's stance for a "just and comprehensive solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict", he said that India supports "President Mahmoud Abbas' call to hold an global peace conference with the participation of all relevant parties to achieve the vision of a sovereign and independent Palestine living side by side in peace and security with Israel".

In doing so, Mills said Washington will expect concessions from both countries, noting the need for Israel to halt its settlement expansion and annexation plans, and for the Palestinian leadership to rollback its welfare scheme for the families of those killed or imprisoned following anti-Israel attacks.

Mills also praised the US -brokered establishment of diplomatic relations between Israel and several Arab nations, which took place in the past year.

Welcoming the normalisation of relations between Israel and some members of the League of Arab states, Tirumurti said that this will provide the "necessary momentum for the resumption of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestine".

"Yet, we recognize that Arab-Israeli normalization is not a substitute for Israeli-Palestinian peace", he said. "The conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians may not be the major fault line in the Middle East, but its resolution nevertheless would significantly benefit the region as a whole", Mills said. He added that Biden would want to promote further normalization agreements in a way that would bolster the push for a two-state solution.

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