US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — The United States is resuming assistance to Palestine through the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). This is evidenced by the statement of the US Secretary of State Antony Blinken, published on Wednesday by the press service of the State Department.
Blinken announced the resumption of economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian state.
“This includes $ 75 million in economic and development assistance to the West Bank and Gaza Strip, $ 10 million in peacekeeping programs through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and $ 150 million in humanitarian assistance through UNRWA,” the statement said.
The Secretary of State noted that aid to the Palestinian people is consistent with US interests and values. It promotes economic development and stability, and supports Israeli-Palestinian understanding, Blinken added.
At the end of March, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said that the positions of Russia and the United States on the Middle East settlement are similar , but Moscow expects concrete actions from Washington. She noted that the American leadership declares its intention to resume the dialogue with the Palestinian National Authority, which was frozen “in the previous period.”
According to the diplomat, at the moment the positions of Moscow and Washington agree, at least, that the Palestinian issue should be resolved on the basis of the principle of “two states” approved by the UN Security Council resolutions, which implies the peaceful and secure existence of Palestine and Israel.
Earlier, representatives of the Middle East Quartet (Russia, USA, European Union, UN) during an online meeting at the UN discussed a return to negotiations on the settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
On February 15, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that a teleconference of the Quartet of international mediators for the Middle East settlement (STB) had taken place. The Russian side stressed the importance of creating the necessary conditions for an early resumption of direct Palestinian-Israeli negotiations under the auspices of the Quartet.
The aggravation of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict occurred in May 2018, after the United States opened a new embassy in Israel , moving it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Thus, the States de facto recognized Jerusalem as the capital of the Jewish state. Palestine considers part of the city its territory.
In January 2018, it became known about the US decision to halve UNRWA payments – to $ 60 million. According to the US administration, this amount will be enough to support autonomy. The UNRWA Commissioner General then said he linked the US funding cut with the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
UNRWA was founded in accordance with the resolution of the UN General Assembly of December 8, 1949. The organization should help Arab refugees from Palestine who lost their homes and livelihoods in the 1948 Arab-Israeli conflict. The agency also provides salaries to Palestinian teachers and health workers in Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the West Bank.
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