Shift in stanceU.S. President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump welcome Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his wife Sara in Washington on Wednesday.
The two-state solution remains “the only way” to meet the aspirations of the Palestinians and Israelis, the UN envoy for the West Asia peace process told the Security Council on Thursday.
The council met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a day after President Donald Trump stepped back from the U.S. commitment to a two-state solution as part of a final peace deal.
Absence of clear strategy
“The two-state solution remains the only way to achieve the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples,” Nickolay Mladenov told the council. “Some may hold the illusion that the conflict can be ‘managed’ indefinitely,” Mr. Mladenov said. “That the absence of a clear strategy to advance peace is a strategy in itself.”
The envoy urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to “carefully contemplate the future”, which he warned could be one “built on perpetual conflict, rising extremism and occupation”.
Mr. Trump announced on Wednesday that the U.S. would not insist on a two-state solution to the conflict, in a break from Washington’s decades-old policy and from the international consensus on the peace process.
“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump’s comments have triggered sharp responses from Muslim countries and organisations. Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit said on Thursday resolving the conflict would require a two-state solution.
Mr. Gheit affirmed that the conflict “requires a comprehensive and just peace based on a two-state solution with an independent Palestinian state”, a statement said after he met UN chief Antonio Guterres in Cairo.
Palestinian Liberation Organisation secretary-general Saeb Erekat said the PLO remained committed to two states and would oppose any system that discriminated against Palestinians.
Hassan Nasrallah, Secretary General of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group, says the remarks made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump mark the end of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process.