Biden: Palestinians Deserve 'Viable' State

05/10/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

(AP) RAMALLAH, West Bank - U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has told the Palestinians that they deserve a "viable" independent state with contiguous territory.

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 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, Biden reiterated his condemnation of Israel's plan and urged both sides to refrain from actions that could "inflame" tensions.

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