update deskU.S.-Israel Relations

Biden: Palestinian state ‘should be realized through direct talks’

The statement from the White House came after Norway, Ireland and Spain announced unilateral recognition of "Palestine."

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, March 9, 2016. Credit: Flash90.
Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, March 9, 2016. Credit: Flash90.

President Joe Biden still believes a Palestinian state should be realized only through direct negotiations with Israel, a U.S. National Security Council spokesperson told CNN on Wednesday, responding to the decisions by Ireland, Spain and Norway to recognize “Palestine.”

Biden thinks that “a Palestinian state should be realized through direct negotiations between the parties, not through unilateral recognition,” the spokesperson said, adding that the president is “a strong supporter of a two-state solution and has been throughout his career.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Norway, Ireland and Spain announced their recognition of a Palestinian state, in decisions that the Palestinian Authority and the Hamas terrorist organization welcomed.

Jerusalem denounced the move as a reward for terrorism and the atrocities Hamas committed on Oct. 7, including the murder of some 1,200 people. “Today’s decision sends a message to the Palestinians and the world: Terrorism pays,” tweeted Foreign Minister Israel Katz.

French Foreign Minister Stéphane Séjourné told the AFP news agency that Paris does not consider now the right moment for this step.

“Our position is clear: The recognition of a Palestinian state is not a taboo,” he said. “France does not consider that the conditions have been present to date for this decision to have a real impact in this process.”

Paris’s top diplomat met with Katz in the French capital on Wednesday. He said he stressed to his Israeli counterpart France’s priorities for the conflict: “the immediate release of the hostages, a ceasefire and massive humanitarian aid [for Gaza] and two states living in peace and security.”

A spokesperson for Germany’s Foreign Ministry likewise stressed Berlin’s support for a two-state solution to the conflict.

“An independent Palestinian state remains a firm goal of German foreign policy,” the spokesperson told reporters on Wednesday, adding that a dialogue process was needed to achieve Berlin’s preferred solution to the conflict.

According to Palestinian polls, 89% of Palestinians support establishing a government that includes or is led by Hamas. Only around 8.5% said they favor an authority controlled exclusively by Palestinian Authority chief Mahmoud Abbas’s ruling Fatah faction.

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