U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as part of a visit to the region in which Blinken has urged Israelis and Palestinians to ease tensions amid the bloodiest violence between them in years.
The U.S. State Department said Blinken would discuss with senior Palestinian officials the importance of a two-state solution as well as political reforms.
Ahead of his visit to the West Bank, Blinken met Tuesday with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant in Jerusalem, saying at the start of their talks that U.S. commitment to Israel's security "remains ironclad."
Blinken said Monday after meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States remains committed to "Palestinians and Israelis enjoying equal measures of freedom, security, opportunity, justice, and dignity."
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"We're urging all sides now to take urgent steps to restore calm, to de-escalate," Blinken said. "We want to make sure that there's an environment in which we can, I hope, at some point create the conditions where we can start to restore a sense of security for Israelis and Palestinians alike, which of course is sorely lacking."
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.