WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke on Saturday with Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
“The Secretary and Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah discussed bilateral and regional issues, including our shared commitment to peace in Yemen,” said Principal Deputy Spokesperson Vedant Patel. “Secretary Blinken urged calm during the holiday season across the region and emphasized the urgency of de-escalating tensions between Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement reads.
Blinken also “reiterated the continued US commitment to a two-state solution,” Patel said in his statement, noting that the US “will continue to consult closely with partners on how to advance regional security, stability, and prosperity.
US condemned recent terror attacks
On Friday evening, the US strongly condemned recent terror attacks in Tel Aviv and the Jordan Valley.
"We extend our deepest condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones, and wish a full recovery to the injured," said Patel.
"The three horrific attacks today, in which three were killed and at least eight others wounded, affected citizens of Israel, Italy, and the United Kingdom," he noted.
He went on to say that "the targeting of innocent civilians of any nationality is unconscionable."
"The United States stands with the government and people of Israel," Patel continued. "We are in close contact with our Israeli partners and reaffirm our enduring commitment to their security," he added.
Last week, the US backed Israel’s right to self-defense against rocket attacks from Lebanon and thwarted United Nations Security Council action against Israel over police actions to quell riots on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount. “We condemn the launch of rockets from Lebanon and Gaza at Israel,” Patel told reporters in Washington on Thursday.
Both he and a National Security Council spokesperson said, ”Our commitment to Israel’s security remains ironclad. We recognize Israel’s legitimate right to defend its people and territory against all forms of aggression.”
"Using Lebanon as a launchpad for rocket attacks against Israel only puts the Lebanese people at risk and increases the potential for further instability in the country," the spokesperson added.
Tovah Lazaroff contributed to this report.