The Biden administration is committed to a two-state resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi when the two men spoke on Monday night.
“The secretary addressed the US approach towards a more peaceful, secure and prosperous future for Israelis, Palestinians and the greater Middle East,” Blinken’s office said.
“The secretary also emphasized the Biden Administration’s belief that the two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state.”
Blinken also spoke about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a call he held Tuesday with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry.
Meretz Party leader MK Nitzan Horowitz immediately tweeted that Israel should turn Blinken’s words into action with respect to resolving the conflict through two states.
“We need to take advantage of Biden’s new approach to talk to the Palestinians. This is a great opportunity,” Horowitz tweeted.
Separately in Blinken’s call with Ashkenazi, the secretary of state spoke of the tight ties between the two countries and stated that the US opposed the biased treatment Israel receives in international forums.
He “noted the United States’ continuing commitment to opposing unfair, one-sided actions against Israel in the multilateral arena,” the State Department said in a statement put out after the call.
“Foreign Minister Ashkenazi and Secretary Blinken acknowledged the steadfast partnership between the United States and Israel, and that the two countries would work closely together on challenges ahead,” it added.
The call comes before Blinken’s addresses the Human Rights Council on Wednesday, a UN body which has passed more resolutions condemning Israel than against any other state.The US under the Trump administration had withdrawn from the council to protest its bias against Israel. The Biden administration rejoined the UNHRC, as a participant but is not one of its 47 voting members.
Wednesday’s speech during the opening of its 46th session will mark the highest level of participation with the council since the US left it in 2018.
Ashkenazi tweeted his gratitude to Biden for his county’s strong support in international forums, adding that, “I am as confident as ever that our alliance is the cornerstone of regional security and stability.”
The UNHRC in the 46th session, which began Monday and will end on March 23rd, is set to debate at least five resolutions on Israel, more than any other country. This will include one resolution under Agenda Item 2 and four others under Agenda Item 7. The UNHRC is mandated to debate alleged Israeli-human rights abuses against the Palestinians at every session under Agenda Item 7. No other country has such a standing item. Alleged human rights against all other countries are debated under agenda Item 4.
At the UNHRC’s virtual high level portion of its 46th session on Tuesday, the Egyptian Deputy Foreign Minister Alaa Roushdy said that the council has a role to play in promoting the rights of the Palestinian people.
Awwad bin Saleh Al-Awwad, head of Saudi Arabia’s Human Rights Commission, said that “Palestine remains our main cause.” He spoke of the importance of an independent Palestinian state based on the pre-1967 lines, with east Jerusalem as its capital, as set out in the Arab Peace Initiative of 2002.