The UN envoy to the Middle East, Tor Winsland, confirmed that Israeli settlements in the Palestinian territories are illegal and undermine the two-state solution, while Washington assured the United Nations of its support for the two-state solution.
Winsland called – in his speech during the UN Security Council session – Israel to stop settlement activities in the occupied territories, including East Jerusalem.
The Norwegian envoy said that the members of the Quartet on the Middle East are looking forward to bringing the Palestinians and Israelis back to the real negotiating table soon.
He indicated his intention to continue speaking frankly with all parties, to encourage the Palestinians and Israelis to strive for peace, and to urge them not to take any unilateral steps and to create an environment conducive to dialogue.
“We must not lose sight of our overall goal, which is to provide support to each of the Palestinians and Israel to resolve the conflict between them, end the occupation and realize the vision of two states living side by side in peace and security, based on pre-1967 borders, international law and relevant United Nations resolutions,” he said.
It is noteworthy that the peace negotiations have been stalled between the two sides since April 2014. For many reasons, including Israel’s refusal to stop settlement activity.
For his part, Richard Mills, the acting US envoy to the United Nations, said today, Tuesday, that President Joe Biden’s policy in the Middle East “will be to support an agreed-upon solution to the existence of two states where Israel lives in peace and security alongside a Palestinian state that enjoys the viable capabilities.”
Mills added that the Biden administration intends to restore support to the Palestinians and take steps to reopen diplomatic missions that were closed by the administration of former President Donald Trump, and will continue to urge other countries to normalize relations with Israel, but acknowledges that “there is no alternative to Israeli-Palestinian peace.”
On the Palestinian side, Foreign Minister Riyad Al-Maliki called for an international peace conference that could be a turning point in this conflict, and the launch of final status negotiations on the basis of international references and standards.
Al-Maliki clarified that the Palestinian call for multilateral participation is not an attempt to evade the bilateral negotiations, but rather to ensure their success, and said that saving the two-state solution is a collective responsibility.