Trump will not insist on two-state solution as Netanyahu visits

Orient Net 2017-02-15 12:49:00

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President Donald Trump welcomes Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House on Wednesday after an administration official signaled a break with US support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The United States would no longer seek to dictate the terms of any eventual peace settlement, but would support what the two sides agree to together, a senior White House official said.

"A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve," the official said late Tuesday, speaking on condition of anonymity.

"Peace is the goal, whether that comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want, or something else if that’s what the parties want."

"That’s going to be up to them, we are not going to dictate what the terms of peace are going to be," said the official.

For the better part of half a century, successive US governments -- both Republican and Democrat -- have backed a two-state solution. It was the basis of peace talks at Oslo and Camp David.

But since taking office in late January, Trump has sought to show that the United States is an unwavering ally of Israel and tried to draw a contrast with the policies of president Barack Obama.

In Ramallah, senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi said that the change in US policy "does not make sense."

"This is not a responsible policy and it does not serve the cause of peace," Ashrawi told AFP. "They cannot just say that without an alternative."