US ‘absolutely’ backs it



US Ambassador Nikki Haley on Thursday rejected suggestions that the United States was abandoning the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying Washington “absolutely” supports the policy but wants fresh ideas on how to move forward.

“Anybody that wants to say the United States does not support the two-state solution, that would be an error,” Haley told reporters at the United Nations.

“We absolutely support a two-state solution, but we are thinking out-of-the-box as well,” Haley said following a Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Her remarks appeared to temper those of President Donald Trump, who on Wednesday announced that the United States would not insist on a two-state solution to the conflict.

“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said at the White House with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

That statement was seen as a break from previous US policy and from the international consensus on recognition of a Palestinian state as part of a final Middle East peace deal.

Haley said the United States wants to help bring Israelis and Palestinians “at the table to have them talk through this in a fresh way, to say ‘okay we’re going back to the drawing board: what can we agree on?'”.

Haley repeated her statement of US support to the two-state solution three times in response to questions from journalists and said the US administration would be unbiased in its peace efforts.

Meanwhile, more than 100,000 Palestinians have written letters to US President Donald Trump urging him not to end the US’ support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

The mass letter writing campaign, organised by the independent Youth Centre for Development and Innovation in Nablus, ran for 11 days in the run up to January 20 – Trump’s inauguration day, reported Independent.

It collected notes for the president from young Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza, those displaced from Syria to Lebanon and the diaspora to draw Trump’s attention to their desire to cooperate with the US in the peace process, centre director Mohammed Abu Ras told Al-Monitor.

The letters have been summarised and are now ready be delivered to Trump via official channels.