Top PLO official meets US national security adviser at White House

Hussein Al Sheikh also held a meeting with Wendy Sherman, US deputy secretary of state

Secretary General of the Executive Committee of the Palestine Liberation Organisation Hussein Al Sheikh, pictured in June 2022. AP
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US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan has met a senior official from the Palestine Liberation Organisation at the White House.

During their meeting on Tuesday, Mr Sullivan and Hussein Al Sheikh, secretary general of the Executive Committee of the PLO, discussed preserving a path towards a two-state solution and the current flare-up of violence in the West Bank.

Mr Al Sheikh's visit to Washington came after President Joe Biden's trip to Israel and the West Bank in July, when he met Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.

Mr Sullivan and Mr Al Sheikh discussed the “US interest in supporting peace and stability, preserving the path towards negotiations for two states, and advancing equal measures of security, prosperity and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike”, the National Security Council said in a statement.

The meeting comes at a sensitive time, with parts of the West Bank seeing daily clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians in an escalation that began in March.

Mr Sullivan “stressed the need to take steps to de-escalate tension in the West Bank by countering terrorism and incitement, noted the importance of all parties refraining from unilateral actions that threaten stability, and emphasised the need to strengthen Palestinian institutions, including reinforcing commitment to non-violence”, the statement said.

While in Washington, Mr Al Sheikh also met Wendy Sherman, the deputy secretary of state.

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The two discussed their commitment to a two-state solution along pre-1967 lines, “with mutually agreed land swaps and joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people”, the State Department said.

“They also discussed current tension in the West Bank and the urgent need to improve the security environment,” it added.

“[Ms Sherman] called on all parties to restore calm and desist from unilateral actions.”

During the recent UN General Assembly in New York, Mr Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid both said they supported a two-state solution.

Updated: October 05, 2022, 4:37 PM