Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden in a statement that indicated the Palestinian leadership would drop its three-year political boycott of the White House.
"I congratulate President-elect Joe Biden on his victory as President of the United States of America for the coming period, and I congratulate his elected Vice President Kamala Harris," Abbas said in a statement issued from his office in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
It added: "I look forward to working with the President-elect and his administration to strengthen the Palestinian-American relations and to achieve freedom, independence, justice and dignity for our people, as well as to work for peace, stability and security for all in our region and the world."
The Palestinians have been holding out for a change of U.S. president for three years, hoping for a chance to hit the reset button on relations with Washington.
"We don't expect miraculous transformation, but at least we expect the dangerous destructive policies of Trump to totally stop," said Hanan Ashrawi, a veteran negotiator and member of the Palestine Liberation Organization's Executive Committee.
"It is time to change course," she added. "They should change course and deal with the Palestinian question on the bases of legality, equality and justice and not on the basis of responding to special interests of pro-Israeli lobbies or whatever."
Three years ago Abbas cut off contact with President Donald Trump's White House, accusing it of pro-Israel bias over Trump's decisions to break with decades of U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the U.S. Embassy to the city.