U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday.

According to U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price, Blinken spoke to Abbas about the importance of Israelis and Palestinians working to maintain calm and de-escalate tensions in light of recent terror attacks and the death of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Blinken also underscored the importance of concluding investigations into her death.

According to the readout, he emphasized negotiating a two-state solution and fostering a U.S.-Palestinian relationship.

Blinken discussed many of the same topics last week with his Israeli counterpart, Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid.

The conversations come ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s visit to the region this month.

JNS

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