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Pelosi meets Abbas as US vows ‘ironclad support’ to Israel

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RAMALLAH: Palestine’s President Mahmoud Abbas has met with US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the Israeli-occupied West Bank for talks on reviving a two-state solution to end one of the Middle East’s protracted conflicts.

Thursday’s session was one of the highest-level meetings with an American official in recent years for the 86-year-old Palestinian president.

Abbas urged US action on what he described as “unilateral Israeli practices” that “undermine a two-state solution.”

These included the expansion of illegal Jewish settlements in the occupied West Bank and moves to expel Palestinians from various parts of Israeli-occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians claim as their future capital.

Relations between the US and the Palestinian Authority (PA) effectively collapsed during former president Donald Trump’s administration, notably after Trump recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s “undivided capital.”

There have been a series of US outreaches to Abbas and the PA since President Joe Biden took office last year.

Experts say Washington is keen to work with its staunch ally Israel to bolster the embattled PA, especially as a bulwark against Hamas, the resistance movement against Israel’s occupation that governs beseiged Gaza since 2007.

Pelosi, who was leading a delegation of eight Democratic party lawmakers to the region, previously met top Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett earlier on Thursday.

Bennett thanked her for her “ongoing support for Israel.”

In talks with Israeli officials, Pelosi and the US delegation affirmed “America’s ironclad commitment to the State of Israel,” the speaker’s office said in a statement.

“We repeatedly reaffirmed America’s commitment to a just and enduring two-state solution that enhances stability and security for Israel, Palestinians and their neighbours.”

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