Arab Leaders Congratulate Biden as Palestinians Welcome Trump Exit, but are Cautious about Biden

Saturday 07 November 2020
SMA News – World

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi congratulated Joe Biden on Saturday for winning the US presidency, presidential spokesman Bassam Radi said in a statement.

Lebanese President Michel Aoun congratulated on Saturday Joe Biden on winning the US presidential elections. In a tweet, he voiced hope for a “return to balance in US-Lebanese relations.”

Oman’s Sultan Haitham bin Tariq al-Said congratulated Democrat Joe Biden on winning the US Presidential election, the state news agency reported on Saturday. Haitham bin Tariq sent a letter to Biden expressing “his sincere congratulations for winning the confidence of the American people and for his election as President of the upcoming presidential term”

For the Palestinians, they have been holding out for a change of US president for three years, hoping for a chance to hit the reset button on relations with Washington.

There was no immediate response from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas after Joe Biden was declared winner of the US presidential election by major television networks on Saturday, but the first key decision facing Abbas is whether he will resume political contacts with the United States.

Three years ago Abbas cut off contact with President Donald Trump’s White House, accusing it of pro-Israel bias over Trump’s decisions to break with decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US Embassy to the city.

Other Trump decisions that infuriated the Palestinians were to de-fund the United Nations agency that deals with Palestinian refugees and to shut the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington.

Trump also published a Middle East blueprint in January that envisaged Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, territory that Palestinians seek for a state.

Hamas, the movement that controls Gaza and is regarded as a terrorist group by the US and Israel, also welcomed the setback for the current occupant of the White House.

Mohammad Dahlan, a former Palestinian security chief and government minister based in Abu Dhabi, said Biden’s win would “open a new horizon for peace that is based on the two-state solution as Biden promised during his election campaign.”

“The removal of Trump’s danger isn’t enough, we have to resolve our internal imbalance by ending the divisions and elect new institutions and legitimate leaders,” he said in a post on his Facebook page.

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