Abbas meets with Israel’s defense minister ahead of Biden’s visit to the region

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas met late Thursday in the West Bank city of Ramallah with Israeli Defense Minister Benjamin Gantz to coordinate security issues ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the region.

Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Executive Committee Secretary Husein al-Sheikh said on his Twitter social network account that Abbas “stressed the importance of preparing an atmosphere of calm ahead of Biden’s visit, which is welcome.”

He also stressed that the Palestinian leader “stressed the importance of creating a political horizon, respecting the signed agreements and stopping the actions and measures that have led to a deterioration of the situation” in the framework of his meeting with Gantz.

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For his part, Gantz stressed in several messages on Twitter that the meeting “took place on positive terms” and revealed that they discussed matters of “civil and security coordination” ahead of Biden’s visit and “the complexities of the coming period in Israel,” in apparent reference to the call for new early elections on November 1.

In this regard, Israel’s defense minister stressed that during the meeting “it was agreed to maintain close coordination at the security level and to avoid measures that could disrupt stability,” before wishing Abbas and the Palestinian population a happy Eid al Adha.

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Biden will begin a Middle East tour on July 13 that will take him for the first time since he took office to Israel and the West Bank, where he plans to reiterate his “strong support” for the two-state solution to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinians, and which will also include a stop in Saudi Arabia.

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