Biden to continue two-state discussion in Middle East, says it’s ‘not in the near term’

President Biden on Wednesday said he will discuss his continued support for a two-state solution when he landed in Israel for his first trip to the Middle East as president, adding that he knows such a solution is not in the near term.

“Greater peace, greater stability, greater connection, it’s critical, it’s critical if I might add for all the people of the region. Which is why we’ll discuss my continued support — even though I know it’s not in the near term — a two-state solution that remains in my view the best way to ensure the future of equal measure of freedom, prosperity and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” Biden said at an arrival ceremony in Tel Aviv, Israel.

Biden has been committed to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians and this trip could provide an opportunity to advance stalled benefits for Palestinians, like access to 4G mobile networks and increased freedom of movement. But, Israel’s government will be in campaign mode for the next several months, which could constrain conversations about Israel’s policies toward the Palestinians.

Biden noted in his remarks at Ben Gurion Airport that it was his tenth visit to Israel, calling every visit a “blessing.”

“I’m proud to say that our relationship with the state of Israel is deeper and stronger in my view than it’s ever been,” Biden said.

“We reaffirm the unshakable commitment the United States-Israel security, including partnering with Israel on the most cutting-edge defense systems in the world,” he added.

He said that on the trip, he will also discuss with Israeli leaders advancing Israel’s integration into the region and he will visit Yad Vashem later on Wednesday, which is Israel’s official memorial to the victims of the Holocaust.

He said his visit to Yad Vashem is “to continue to bear witness” and continue work to fight the “position of antisemitism.”

Biden also noted that the I2U2 summit will take place on his trip, which brings Israel, the U.S., the UAE, and India together “to deepen economic corporation” between the Middle East and Indo-Pacific.

Before leaving Tel Aviv, Biden will receive a briefing on the country’s Iron Dome and Iron Beam Air Defense Systems. He will then fly to Jerusalem to participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at Yad Vashem.

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