The US State Department has elevated Hady Amr, deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs, to the new position of special representative for Palestinian affairs, a state department spokesperson said on Wednesday.
“Consistent with the administration’s commitment to strengthening US engagement with the Palestinians, the state department has established a new special representative for Palestinian affairs role and named Hady Amr to serve in that role,” said a state department spokesperson.
“Consistent with the Administration’s commitment to strengthening US engagement with the Palestinians, the State Department has established a new Special Representative for Palestinian Affairs role and named Hady Amr to serve in that role.”State Department spokesperson
The move is seen as an upgrade to the relationship between the US and the Palestinian Authority, so far there was no designated representative for Palestinian affairs within the state department. The story was first published by AXIOS.
According to the state department, the Washington-based special representative for Palestinian affairs will engage closely with the Palestinians and their leadership “and, together with Ambassador Nides and his team, continue to engage with Israel on Palestinian-related issues.”
Amr will work out of the state department’s bureau of near eastern affairs, under the authority of the Assistant Secretary of State for near eastern affairs.
“Our Jerusalem-based office of Palestinian affairs will work closely with the special representative,” said the spokesperson.
Dan Shapiro, former US Ambassador to Israel and a Distinguished Fellow, Atlantic Council told The Jerusalem Post that "it is necessary to make every effort to sustain stability on the West Bank, Israeli-Palestinian security coordination, a viable and constructive Palestinian Authortity, and the possibility of a future return to negotiations on two states, while connecting the Palestinians to the positive trends represented by the Abraham Accords."
"None of that is easy, but all of it is important, and Hady Amr is the right person to carry this mission forward,” said Shapiro.
US Consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem
Last year, it was speculated that the Biden administration likely will appoint Amr as the US consul-general to the Palestinians, to work out of a reestablished US consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem. However, the administration did not reopen the consulate in the year since, citing “a number of steps that have to go into the reopening of any diplomatic facility.”
“We remain committed to opening a consulate in Jerusalem,” state department spokesperson Ned Price said in May. PA presidential spokesman Nabil Abu Rudaineh decried earlier this year what he called “unfulfilled promises” including a pledge to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem.