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Updated: March 10, 2010 19:38 IST

Joe Biden says Palestinians deserve ‘viable’ state

AP
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U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden, seen below a picture of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, while listening to a speech of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, not pictured, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Wednesday. Photo: AP.
U.S. Vice-President Joseph Biden, seen below a picture of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, while listening to a speech of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, not pictured, in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Wednesday. Photo: AP.

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden, has told the Palestinians that they deserve a “viable” independent state with contiguous territory.

Mr. Biden’s comments on Wednesday appeared aimed at reassuring the Palestinians of U.S. support a day after Israel announced plans to build 1,600 new homes in disputed east Jerusalem. The Israeli move has overshadowed Mr. Biden’s visit, which is meant to promote U.S.—led peace negotiations that are set to begin in the coming weeks.

At a news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr. Biden reiterated his condemnation of Israel’s plan and urged both sides to refrain from actions that could “inflame” tensions.

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