‘Washington to reopen consulate in Jerusalem’: Top US diplomat

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said Tuesday that Washington will reopen its consulate in Jerusalem and restore ties with Palestinians.

His comments came during a news conference following a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah as part of an official visit to occupied Palestine.

Blinken said the US will provide $5.5 million in emergency financial assistance to the Gaza Strip and $32 million in support to international aid organizations.

“We will continue to oppose any unilateral practice that leads to further violence between Israel and Palestinians,” he said.

Blinken arrived in Israel early Tuesday on the first stop of his first Middle East tour since taking office.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held talks with Blinken on a host of regional issues, including a recent cease-fire deal in the Gaza Strip, and Iran.

Following his meeting with Netanyahu, Blinken met senior Israeli officials, including President Reuven Rivlin and Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi, according to US State Department spokesperson Ned Price.

Blinken will later meet Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and senior officials from the Palestinian Authority, before heading to Cairo and Amman, Jordan.

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