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WASHINGTON: US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken reaffirmed Washington’s commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in a phone call with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, the State Department said Saturday.

The move came as Israel’s hawkish former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has not endorsed the two-state idea, sealed his return to power following Tuesday’s election and launched negotiations on forming what could be the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.

In a call with Abbas on Friday, Blinken “further reaffirmed our commitment to a two-state solution,” the State Department said in a statement. Blinken and Abbas also discussed “joint efforts to improve the quality of life for the Palestinian people and enhance their security and freedom.” The election result came against the backdrop of soaring violence between Israel and the Palestinians.

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