Palestinian Foreign Minister calls Biden administration weak, hopes China will help with two-state solution

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki also said that he hoped Saudi Arabia will not fall under US pressure and normalize relations with Israel before the end of the occupation 

August 04, 2023 by Peoples Dispatch
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki
Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki. (Photo: Issam Rimawi/Anadolu Agency)

During a press conference held in Ramallah on Thursday, August 3, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki said that Palestine is increasingly looking to China to help achieve the goal of national self-determination. 

When addressing press, al-Maliki also called the Biden administration weak and accused it of continuing the anti-Palestinian policies initiated under his predecessor Donald Trump, despite assurances to the contrary.  

He noted that the Biden administration has failed to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem which historically attended Palestinians and has refused to allow the opening of the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington DC as promised.  

Al-Maliki said that Palestinians are “disappointed with the US administration of President Joe Biden for its failure to keep its promises it pledged to the Palestinians.” He said that the Biden administration had failed to “fulfill its promises to back down from the decision of former US president Donald Trump, who violated US policy and recognized Jerusalem” as the capital of Israel. 

He also noted that the Biden administration has continued to remain silent on increasing Israeli violence in the occupied territories, the forced displacement of Palestinians, and the rising number of illegal settlements.

In the last three years, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem have seen an unprecedented and multifold increase in Israeli aggression. Israeli occupation forces have carried out near daily raids inside Palestinian localities, killing an ever increasing number of Palestinians.

Over 200 Palestinians have been killed by the Israeli forces in the occupied territories already this year. This is a serious escalation compared to 2022 when a total of 204 Palestinians were killed in the entire year.

Israeli politicians have led or encouraged repeated incursions inside the Al-Aqsa mosque and other religious sites by illegal settlers, increasingly identified as apartheid. A larger number of Palestinians have also been forcefully displaced from their lands across the occupied territories and settler violence has risen drastically.

China should be included in future peace talks 

Al-Maliki refuted claims that the US is pushing for fresh peace talks in the region, saying that “there is no peace process in the Middle East” right now. He also said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) would like the participation of China in any future talks.

He claimed that the Chinese are willing to help in the achievement of peace in the region and “Many countries in the world want China’s support as it has become a significant global player.”

PA President Mahmoud Abbas went to China earlier this year where President Xi Jinping announced a strategic partnership with Palestinians and expressed his country’s willingness to help Palestine achieve its goal of national self-determination.

Responding to a question about US pressure on Saudi Arabia to normalize relations with Israel, al-Maliki noted that the Saudis have put several conditions for such a move, including the end of the Israeli occupation. He hoped that the Saudis would not capitulate under US pressure, unlike countries like the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan, which signed the so-called Abraham Accords in 2020-21 and normalized relations with Israel.

Al-Maliki regretted the PA’s decision to re-establish relations with the Biden administration, which had been broken during the Trump era, saying that the hope “that they would have the strength and courage to move forward” was never realized.