The Guardian reports: The US ambassador to the United Nations has insisted that Washington “absolutely” supported a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestine conflict, 24 hours after Donald Trump dropped US commitment to the policy.
The conflicting messages coming out of the new US administration reflected policy chaos in a week when the national security adviser was forced to resign over his contacts with Russia, and factions inside the White House continue to vie for dominance.
In Bonn, the French foreign minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, emerged from his first meeting with the new US secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, to describe the Trump administration’s Middle East policy as “confused and worrying”.
Ayrault pointed to Trump’s remarks in a joint appearance with the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, in which he explicitly abandoned the two decades-long US commitment to the creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel as part of a final peace deal.
“I’m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like,” Trump said. “I can live with either one.”
After his meeting with Tillerson at the sidelines of a G20 meeting, Ayrault said: “I wanted to remind him after the meeting between Donald Trump and Netanyahu that in France’s view, there are no other options other than the perspective of a two-state solution and that the other option which Tillerson brought up was not realistic, fair or balanced.”
He did not give details about the option that Tillerson raised and the secretary of state did not take press questions, but he appears to have echoed Trump’s remarks suggesting other outcomes would be acceptable to the US. [Continue reading…]