Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas referred to Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday as “Secretary Clinton” before staff corrected him.
From the transcript:
PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter) In the name of God, the merciful and the compassionate, we would like to welcome Secretary Clinton, who visits us these — in these days —
PRESIDENT ABBAS: (Via interpreter) — sorry — Blinken, who visits us in these days —
SECRETARY BLINKEN: It’s an improvement. (Laughter.)
President Joe Biden sent Blinken to visit the Middle East as part of an effort to sustain a ceasefire between Hamas terrorists and Israel.
Blinken announced the United States would request $75 million to help the Palestinians from Congress, as well as $5.5 million in immediate disaster assistance, and $32 million for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees emergency humanitarian appeal.
He also announced that Biden was committed to reopening a diplomatic consulate in Jerusalem for further diplomatic exchanges with the Palestinians.
Abbas thanked Blinken and the Biden administration for restoring financial assistance from the United States to the Palestinians, which former President Donald Trump previously cut.
“This is something that we highly value, and we hope that the future will be rife with diplomatic and political effort headed by the U.S. and the Quartet so that we can reach a lasting and comprehensive peace in the region,” he said.