Blinken reinforces 'two state solution' in call to Israeli PM Netanyahu

20 Feb 2023 10:35am
Blinken urged for steps to be taken to cool tensions in the Middle East and voiced the United States' opposition to actions that do not further that goal. - Agency photo
Blinken urged for steps to be taken to cool tensions in the Middle East and voiced the United States' opposition to actions that do not further that goal. - Agency photo
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WASHINGTON - US Secretary of State Antony Blinken continued the US push for a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians in a call with Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Blinken spoke with Netanyahu on Saturday following Israel's unilateral decision to build nine settlements in West Bank a week ago, a move that could further stoke the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

"Productive call with @netanyahu to discuss regional developments.

"I reiterated our strong support for a negotiated two-state solution and underscored the urgent need for Israelis and Palestinians to take steps to restore calm and our opposition to escalatory unilateral measures,” United Press International quoted Blinken tweeted.

According to a readout from the US State Department, Blinken urged for steps to be taken to cool tensions in the Middle East and voiced the United States' opposition to actions that do not further that goal.

On Friday, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy, and House Majority Leader Steve Scalise called for President Joe Biden to direct UN Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield to veto any anti-Israel resolution, by the United Nations.

"As the UN Security Council once again moves to consider another one-sided, biased, anti-Israel resolution, it is imperative that the United States maintain its position that only direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians can yield progress.

For this reason, we urge your administration to use the voice and vote of the United States to oppose and veto any anti-Israel action, including resolutions, at the UN Security Council,” the trio wrote to Biden.

Netanyahu's office has said it will build 10,000 settlement homes in West Bank, including in existing communities, which are considered illegal under international law. The office claimed the settlements have existed for decades.
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The UN Security Council will meet on Monday and is expected to vote in favor of halting Israel's plans for new settlements.

Earlier this month, UN Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk condemned violence perpetrated by Israel and Palestine.

"Rather than doubling down on failed approaches of violence and coercion that have singularly failed in the past, I urge everyone involved to step out of the illogic of escalation that has only ended in dead bodies, shattered lives and utter despair,” he said, as reported by UPI.

The Security Council will continue discussions on the Middle East in closed session following the meeting. - Bernama