Palestinian premier, members of US Congress discuss reviving political process

Palestinian premier, members of US Congress discuss reviving political process

Mohammad Shtayyeh and congressional delegation discuss role of US in preserving two-state solution and recognition of Palestinian state

By Mohammed Ghifari, Muhammed Emin Canik and Firdevs Bulut Kartal

TORONTO (AA) - Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh held discussions Monday with members of the US Congress on ways to revive the political process, Washington’s role in preserving the two-state solution and recognizing the Palestinian state.

Shtayyeh met with a delegation of 22 members of the Democratic party in the West Bank city of Ramallah under the chairmanship of Hakeem Jeffries, the leader of the Democrats in the US House of Representatives, according to a statement from the Palestinian Prime Minister's Office.

At the meeting, Shtayyeh called on the US Congress to vote for the recognition of the Palestinian state.

He said Israel violates international law every day through killings, raids and building illegal settlements, stressing that this causes the systematic destruction of the two-state solution.

Shtayyeh said the continuation of the fait accompli will lead to a shift towards a single state with an apartheid regime, pointing to Israel's practices.

He called on the US Congress to press Israel to allow Palestinian elections that include Jerusalem, in accordance with signed agreements.

Regarding Israel's prevention of this, Shtayyeh said Israel's failure to allow it is an attempt to wage a war against Palestinian democracy.

He also urged the congressional delegation to push for amending laws and regulations targeting the Palestinian Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and linking them to terrorism.

On Sept. 7, 2018, under the leadership of former US President Donald Trump, the US decided to cut more than $20 million in aid to hospitals serving Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem and to close the PLO’s office in Washington, D.C. on Sept. 10.

President Joe Biden’s administration, on the other hand, promised to reopen the US Consulate in East Jerusalem and the PLO office in Washington as well as the resumption of aid to Palestine.

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