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Boris Johnson reaffirms British commitment to two-state solution

March 9, 2017 1:42 P.M. (Updated: March 10, 2017 11:12 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Boris Johnson confirmed the UK’s commitment to the two-state solution and expressed his belief in solving the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict based on such a solution, during an interview with Palestine TV on Wednesday.

Referencing the Balfour Declaration, a letter written in 1917 expressing the UK’s support for establishing a Jewish state in historic Palestine, Johnson said that the United Kingdom had failed to reflect the political needs of the Palestinian people and their right to their own state.

Johnson stated during the interview that he understood Palestinian sensitivity over the Balfour Declaration, and confirmed his commitment to a two-state solution.

He added that the UK has continued to view Israeli settlements as an obstacle to peace and to the future of a two-state solution, noting that the passage of UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which strongly condemned Israel’s illegal settlement building in the occupied Palestinian territory, reflected the UK’s consistent stance on the illegality of Israeli settlements.

The UK will recognize a Palestinian state if its recognition will lead to a two-state solution, he added.

Meanwhile, in an interview with Israeli media outlet Jerusalem Post on Thursday, Johnson reportedly said that "you have to have a two-state solution or else you have a kind of apartheid system. You have to go for a two-state approach, that is the long-standing position of the government.”

US President Donald Trump responded ambivalently to a question last month regarding his administration’s position on the two-state solution during a press conference preceding a controversial meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, after a US official said that the country was not necessarily committed to the policy as the sole way out of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said, eliciting laughter from Netanyahu. “I can live with either one.”

While members of the international community have rested the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the discontinuation of illegal Israeli settlements and the establishment of a two-state solution, a growing number of Palestinian activists have criticized the two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.
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