Recent statements made by the US Secretary of State have indicated that the White House will pursue the former administration’s policy on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, except for not opposing the two-state solution and having Jerusalem as the capital of both states.
In an interview with CNN on Monday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken stressed that President Joe Biden “strongly supports” the two-state solution.
“The hard truth is we are a long way I think from seeing peace break out and seeing a final resolution of the problems between Israel and the Palestinians and the creation of a Palestinian state,” he said, stressing that Palestinians have the right to establish their own state.
The President considers the two-state solution “the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, and the only way to give the Palestinians a state to which they’re entitled.”
“We’re looking to make sure that neither side takes unilateral actions that make the prospects for moving toward peace and a resolution even more challenging than they already are.”
The administration will support steps that create a better environment in which actual negotiations can take place, he stated.
Commenting on the Abraham Accords, Blinken said the new administration applauded them.
“This is an important step forward. Whenever we see Israel and its neighbors normalizing relations, improving relations, that’s good for Israel, it’s good for the other countries in question, it’s good for overall peace and security, and I think it offers new prospects to people throughout the region through travel, through trade, through other work that they can do together to actually materially improve their lives.”
Nevertheless, he ruled out that the challenges of the relationship between Israel and the Palestinians go away.
“They’re not going to miraculously disappear,” he stressed.
In his response to whether Biden has spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Blinken said they spoke during the transition period, adding that he talked to his Israeli counterparts on multiple occasions already.
“What we have to see happen is for the parties to get together directly and negotiate these so-called final status issues,” he said, stressing that it’s the objective.
“And as I said, we’re unfortunately a ways away from that at this point in time.”