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Haley says U.S. backs two-state solution

The Associated Press

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley speaks to reporters at the U.N. headquarters on Thursday.

The Associated Press UNITED NATIONS (AP) — U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley said Thursday the United States “absolutely” supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and anyone who thinks it does not is in “error.”

But the Trump administration’s new U.N. envoy told reporters: “We are thinking out of the box as well, which is: What does it take to bring these two sides to the table? What do we need to have them agree on?”

Haley’s comments were far more forceful in support of a two-state solution than President Donald Trump’s on Wednesday. He said: “I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one.”

Haley said the solution to the conflict has to come from the Israelis and Palestinians, but she said several times and stressed, “We absolutely support a two-state solution.”

Arab League, U.N. issue statement

Earlier Thursday, the United Nations and the Arab League issued a joint statement in support of the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel, saying the two-state solution is “the only way to achieve comprehensive and just settlement to the Palestinian cause.”

That appeared to put U.N. Secretary General Antonio Guterres and Arab League Chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit, who met in Cairo, at odds with Trump.

But Haley, when asked whether the United States would carry out its obligations under a U.N. Security Council resolution that called for the establishment of two states, said: “Understand that the United States supports the two-state resolution. That’s never been wavered.”

“What we’re saying is, ‘OK, let’s not just talk about the old way of doing things.’” She said. “Come to the table with all the fresh atmosphere and perspectives that we now have, and think, ‘OK, what can we do knowing all of the factors, knowing where we sit present day, and how can we move forward.’”

Guterres had stressed Wednesday that there is no “Plan B” to a two-state solution. Haley was asked if the United States had a “Plan B.”

“I think first of all a two-state solution is what we support,” she said. “Anybody who wants to say the United States doesn’t support a two-state solution — that would be an error.”

The U.S. ambassador spoke to reporters after attending the Security Council’s monthly meeting on the Middle East — her first.

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