US and PA renew economic dialogue frozen under Trump

The Biden administration has restored those ties and has renewed its financial contribution to the Palestinians.

 PRO-PALESTINE demonstrators protest outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles in May. (photo credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)
PRO-PALESTINE demonstrators protest outside the Israeli Consulate in Los Angeles in May.
(photo credit: LUCY NICHOLSON / REUTERS)

The Biden administration has renewed the US-Palestinian Economic Dialogue group frozen by former president Donald Trump.

“Growing the Palestinian economy will play a critical role in advancing our overarching political goal: a negotiated two-state solution, with a viable Palestinian state living side by side in peace and security with Israel,” US Assistant Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Yael Lempert told the group during a virtual meeting on Tuesday.

Those who participated included Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israel and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr, US Palestinian Affairs Unit Chief George Noll, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Africa and the Middle East Eric Meyer.

The Palestinian delegation included Palestinian Authority Minister of National Economy Khaled al-Osaily, Minister of Information Technology and Communication Ishaq Sider, and the chairman of the PA Energy and Natural Resources Authority Zafer Melhem.

The group last met five years ago. On Tuesday it discussed investment opportunities and ways to increase Palestinian trade and improve access to the US markets, including initiatives between Palestinian and US businesses. The participants also spoke about renewable energy opportunities and environmental initiatives.

 US President Joe Biden (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE) US President Joe Biden (credit: REUTERS/KEVIN LAMARQUE)
 

“This year’s dialogue was a testament to the importance of US-Palestinian economic relations and the opportunity to increase collaboration on economic issues of shared importance,” the State Department said.

Relations between the PA and the US were severed during the Trump years, with the US halting its financial assistance. The Biden administration has restored those ties and has renewed its financial contribution to the Palestinians, including to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.