U.S. supports Palestinian state-building efforts: Biden

09:07, March 11, 2010      

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U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) shake hands with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the end of their joint press conference followed by their meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah, on March 10, 2010. (Xinhua/Fadi Arouri)

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden Wednesday said Washington supports Palestinians in building their institutions for a "viable" Palestinian state.

The United States "strongly supports the Palestinian (National) Authority's efforts to build its institutions and the develop the economy of the state," Biden told a joint news conference with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, referring to Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad's two-year state building plan.

Biden arrived in the West Bank on Wednesday and met Fayyad before talks with Abbas. On Tuesday, he held talks with Israeli leaders as the Israeli government announced plans to build more settlements.

Biden said Israel and the Palestinians "should build an atmosphere to support these negotiations, and not complicate them. "
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