Economy

US State Department Refuses to Endorse Two-State Solution

US State Department Refuses to Endorse Two-State Solution

RAMALLAH, Palestinian Territories - Presidential adviser Jared Kushner met with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on Thursday to try to jumpstart moribund peace talks, but after months without progress the Mideast envoy faces growing skepticism on the Palestinian side.

Later, Kushner and his delegation headed to Ramallah in the West Bank to meet with Palestinian leaders including Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

However, Palestinians are routinely denied construction permits in West Bank's "Area C" - which is under Israeli administrative control - leaving them with little option but to build illegally.

Previous US governments have committed to an independent Palestinian state alongside Israel, but Trump broke with longstanding US policy in February by saying he would be happy with either a one-state or two-state solution if the parties were happy.

White House adviser Jared Kushner and visiting USA officials have been snubbed by the Foreign Ministry in Cairo in apparent protest over a US cut in aid to Egypt.

U.S. President Donald Trump remains committed and optimistic about achieving Israeli-Palestinian peace, his son-in-law and senior adviser told the sides on Thursday during his first visit to the region since last month's surge of violence.

"Just when they were due to return to the classroom, Palestinian children are discovering that their schools are being destroyed", said Hanibal Abiy Worku, NRC country director for Palestine.

"The entire goal of settlement is to prevent the future viability of a Palestinian state so any expansion is problematic for achieving a two state solution", she said.

3 2017 shows cattle gathered under a bridge next to sewage-polluted waters on the beach of Gaza City
3 2017 shows cattle gathered under a bridge next to sewage-polluted waters on the beach of Gaza City

Before the two sat down, Netanyahu said that he believes that peace in the Middle East is achievable.

The declaration by America's Middle East peace envoy Jared Kushner was bold, heralding a fresh diplomatic foray into the quagmire of Israeli-Palestinian relations.

Kushner will also be arriving in the region amid high tensions with the Palestinians, who have expressed frustrations with Greenblatt and seem to be losing hope in the ongoing meetings.

These troubles will also weigh on Abbas if he is forced into making concessions to Israel.

Earlier this week, officials in Ramallah told The Media Line that the PA will resume its campaign to gather unilateral indices of statehood recognition at United Nations agencies and other worldwide fora despite the belief shared by the U.S. and Israel that such unilateral action is harmful to the quest for peace.

"If we don't know where we are heading, if we don't know what the end game is, then we are in a desert without a map", said Mohammad Shtayyeh, a senior adviser to Abbas. But he has since given few details of his vision for peace, managing to frustrate both sides.

"It is time for President Trump to pay serious attention to the establishment of a Palestinian state".

I mean, why are you so loath to say - to commit yourself - to recommit yourself to the two-state solution?


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