“A new phase has begun and we have officially renewed relations with the US administration,” PA Minister of Civilian Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh told TPS.
By Baruch Yedid, TPS
The first telephone conversation between senior Palestinian Authority (PA) officials and an official in the US administration in three years took place on Monday night, signaling the renewal of ties between the PA and the US.
“A new phase has begun and we have officially renewed relations with the US administration,” PA Minister of Civilian Affairs Hussein Al-Sheikh told TPS Tuesday.
Two weeks have passed since President Joe Biden entered the White House, but the American leader has not yet called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Meanwhile, official contacts between the Biden administration and the PA were renewed in a telephone conversation between Al-Sheikh, and Hady Amr, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs within the US State Department.
The two talked about the latest developments in the region.
Al-Sheikh tweeted account that the conversation was positive and the two agreed to continue talking soon.
This was preceded by a conversation between Amr and PA Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and PA intelligence chief Majd Faraj, according to Palestinian sources.
Shtayyeh said that the issues discussed with Amr included the reopening of the PLO offices in Washington and the US consulate in eastern Jerusalem and the renewal of aid to UNRWA.
These conversations are the first after three years of a split in Palestinian-American relations, which began with the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem.
Amr, a veteran Lebanese diplomat married to a Palestinian, a former Brookings Institution researcher, was President Barack Obama’s envoy for political Islamic affairs and, according to Palestinian sources, has been involved in transmitting messages in recent months between Biden’s staff and the PA.
Senior officials in Ramallah claim that Amr signaled that a PA election campaign and measures to eradicate corruption within the PA would encourage positive dialogue with the US.
The PA is awaiting the administration’s decision on whether to reopen the eastern Jerusalem consulate, which was closed and converted into a Palestinian affairs unit within the new embassy, while the possibility arises of opening a Palestinian affairs office in the State Department, headed by Amr.
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