epa000334606 Palestinian supporters of Palestinian Liberation Organisation chairman Mahmoud Abbas shouting during a rally in Gaza City, 23 December 2004. Over 140,000 Palestinians were slated to cast ballots Thursday in municipal elections in 25 West Bank towns andvillages, in what Palestine Liberation Organization chief MahmudAbbas said was "part of a comprehensive national plan to renew the legitimacy" of the Palestine Authority. EPA/Ali Ali

Biden focused on other priorities, says Palestine amid bloody conflict with Israel

Ramallah, Aug 3 (EFE).- Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Maliki stated on Thursday that the Palestinian issue was no longer a global priority, accusing US President Joe Biden of only being concerned about Russia, Ukraine, and China.

“We (the Palestinians) are not the priority. It’s all about Ukraine and Russia, and then China, China, and China…,” Maliki said during a meeting with foreign reporters at the ministry headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

The minister expressed his “disappointment” with Biden’s stance.

He pointed out that during his campaign and after being sworn in as US president three years ago, Biden made “very clear statements about the two-state solution.”

“But he has not reversed any of (former President Donald) Trump’s measures.”

He highlighted Trump’s contentious decisions to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, close the consulate for Palestinians in Jerusalem, and shut down the representative office of the Palestinians in Washington.

Maliki emphasized that the current Palestinian leadership faced “the challenge” of redirecting US attention to the Middle East, “even if it is only 5 percent of that attention.”

He admitted that reviving the Palestinian cause was tricky, especially considering Biden had not appointed a special envoy for the peace process for the first time in years.

“Right now there is no process, nor is there peace.”

He acknowledged that the reality on the ground was increasingly far from the possibility of the two-state solution.

But he said the Palestinian National Authority “still believes and defends the solution,” hoping it would attract “the broad consensus” it got years ago.

“A Palestinian state with borders from 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital,” the minister said.

He accused the international community of “double standards.”

He pointed out that while the world reacted with sanctions and resolutions from day one to the war in Ukraine, it remained silent regarding the Israeli aggression in the Palestinian territories.

“Israel commits crimes every day, settlers commit atrocities every day, and we don’t see any reaction,” he said.

“That’s the problem. Seventy-five years have passed since the Nakba, 55 since the Israeli occupation, and every day Palestinians are killed, every day progress is being made in construction of settlements and every day our land is confiscated.”

The minister welcomed the willingness of a “global player” like China to mediate the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians. “

On the possibility of Israel and Saudi Arabia normalizing diplomatic relations, an effort by both Biden and Netanyahu, Maliki attributed it to a US attempt to counter China’s influence in the Middle East.

“The Saudis have set conditions. One is to end the occupation and the materialization of a Palestinian state. I hope they maintain that position and that there is no pressure or intimidation from the Biden administration or any other power to change that,” he said.

“We are going to coordinate with the Saudis to see how we can help strengthen that position.” EFE