US committed to reopening consulate, two-state solution - Hady Amr

Hady Amr stressed that President Joe Biden “remains fully committed to a two-state solution, which he made clear in Jerusalem.”

US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
US Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

WASHINGTON - “The US remains committed to reopening our consulate general in Jerusalem,” said Hady Amr, the newly appointed special representative for Palestinian affairs at the State Department.

“I continue to believe that reopening the consulate [puts] the US in the best position to engage with and provide support to the Palestinian people,” he said Wednesday in a press briefing. “We're going to continue to discuss the timeline for reopening our consulate general with our Israeli and Palestinian partners. At the same time, we right now have a dedicated team of colleagues on the ground working in Jerusalem and our Office of Palestinian Affairs, every single day on engagement with and outreach to Palestinians.”

“We're going to continue to discuss this issue with our Israeli and Palestinian partners. At the same time, we right now have a dedicated team of colleagues on the ground working in Jerusalem and our Office of Palestinian Affairs, every single day on engagement with and outreach to Palestinians.”

Hady Amr

Asked about the situation in the West Bank, he said: “We are closely tracking every reported incident every day, and we are deeply aware of the tragic loss of life that we are seeing in the territories.”

Amr also avoided giving a definitive answer about the incoming Israeli government. “In terms of the new Israeli government, I'm not going to speculate on its composition and how it's going to engage. It's up to the parties on the ground to take the steps needed to de-escalate the situation.”

“What we are focused on in the immediate term is lifting up and improving Palestinian lives, while we also look for ways to restore political horizon and return to a two-state solution,” he added.

THEN-US VICE-PRESIDENT Joe Biden shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in 2016. (credit: DEBBIE HILL/REUTERS)THEN-US VICE-PRESIDENT Joe Biden shakes hands with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah in 2016. (credit: DEBBIE HILL/REUTERS)

Hady Amr's new post for Palestinian affairs

Amr, who previously served as deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs, was elevated last week to his current role, a move that 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 creation of this role is unprecedented and elevates the Palestinian issues and our engagement on it,” Amr said. “This move is completely consistent with the Biden administration's commitment to strengthen US engagement with the Palestinian people and leadership that we've launched since day one and even before taking office.”

He went on to say that the Biden Administration's creation of the Special Representative position “bolsters our ability to manage challenges in the Israeli-Palestinian relationship, as well as bolstering the interests of Palestinians relationships with Israel and other partners in the region with whom I'll be engaging as well.”

He also stressed that President Joe Biden “remains fully committed to a two-state solution, which he made clear in Jerusalem.”

“And as he stated then, the administration supports the two states along the 67 lines where a mutually agreed swap remains the best way to achieve equal measures of security, prosperity, freedom, democracy, justice for Palestinians as well as Israelis,” said Amr.

Asked about the Abraham Accords and their relevance to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Amr said that “while the Abraham Accords have enabled Arab governments to more closely engage with the government of Israel and express their views, they're not in any way a substitute for the important work that needs to be done to lift up Palestinian lives and to advance Israeli-Palestinian peace.”

Speaking about his new role, Amr said that “it's a real honor to serve as the US government's first representative to the Palestinian people and leadership.”