WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Committee members Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) released the following statement on Palestinian Authority (PA) and Israeli officials’ recent meetings in Egypt and Jordan:
“We welcome the meeting that was held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on March 19, 2023, and the inaugural meeting in Aqaba, Jordan, on February 26, 2023, between senior officials of the Palestinian Authority and Israel, supported by officials from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the Arab Republic of Egypt, and the United States. We commend the efforts by Jordan and Egypt to set the conditions for this process and for hosting these meetings.
“These meetings reflect existing agreements between the PA and the government of Israel to work toward a comprehensive, just and lasting peace, and commitments to restore calm and de-escalate recent tensions. This includes implementation of the commitment to end unilateral, escalatory measures for the next 3-6 months.
“We also welcome the agreement to develop a mechanism to curb and counter violence, incitement, and inflammatory statements and actions, and the commitment to meet again in this format in April.
“As we enter the holy month of Ramadan and prepare to celebrate both Passover and Easter, such de-escalation is crucial. Israelis and Palestinians deserve to live with security and in safety, enjoying equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and dignity. We remain committed to supporting a negotiated two-state solution.
“We commend the Biden administration’s diplomatic role in this process, which underscores the unique leadership the United States provides on issues of regional importance.”