Palestine receives positive signals from US on 2-state solution

Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told reporters here on Thursday that members of the Palestinian Permanent Observer Mission to the UN held its first official meeting on Wednesday in New York with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Permanent Representative to the world body, Xinhua news agency reported.

Palestine has received "positive signals" from the US on the two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, a top diplomat here said.

Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki told reporters here on Thursday that members of the Palestinian Permanent Observer Mission to the UN held its first official meeting on Wednesday in New York with Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US Permanent Representative to the world body, Xinhua news agency reported.

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"The U. representative explained to the members of the mission of Palestine that the administration of President Joe Biden backs the two-state solution to resolve the Palestinian cause," al-Maliki said.

He said Greenfield told the members of the mission that Washington opposes any unilateral steps, adding that its position "is a positive indication for heading towards more Palestinian communications with the new US administration".

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The Palestinian Authority severed diplomatic ties with the US after former President Donald Trump declared Jerusalem as the capital of Israel in December 2017.

Al-Maliki also called on the US to resume its financial donations to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA).

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He made this appeal to the United States during a meeting with UNRWA Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini in Ramallah, according to an official statement.

UNRWA officials have earlier said that the UN agency is experiencing "a most serious financial crisis" in its history due to the severe shortage of international donations.

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The UN agency's financial crisis began after the US decided to cut $360 million for the agency in 2018, which was 30 per cent of its annual budget.

The UNRWA provides life-saving services to about 5.6 million Palestinian refugees in its five fields of operation that include Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

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