British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has reaffirmed London's support for the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, calling it the only alternative to an “apartheid system.”
“What we are saying is that you have to have a two-state solution or else you have a kind of apartheid system. You have to go for a two-state approach, that is the long-standing position of the government,” Johnson told Israeli media on Wednesday.
The foreign secretary made the remarks while answering a question about US President Donald Trump’s remarks that a two-state solution is not important as long as both sides agree.
“Looking at two-state or one-state, I like the one that both parties like. I'm very happy with the one both parties like. I can live with either one,” Trump said after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House on February 15.
Johnson, who was on a one-day tour of the occupied Palestinian territories, told Netanyahu on Wednesday that Israel should consider the two-state solution and make peace with its neighbors.
"All of our government are, as you know, firm strong supporters, rock-like supporters of Israel and what we want is to see an Israel that is in peace with its neighbors and I should remind you that the policy of our government is for a two state solution, which is what we want to achieve in help to bring in a modest and humble way," he told Bibi.
Netanyahu, for his part, downplayed Israel’s expansive policies as a major block to achieve peace in the region, asserting that Tel Aviv and London do not agree “on all things.”
According to sources in Netanyahu’s office, Israel’s settlement building activities in the occupied Palestinian territories were a highlight of the meeting between the two.
The source said Netanyahu had expressed frustration with the “obsessive approach that the settlements are the root of the conflict.”
The UK was among the 14 countries that voted unanimously in favor of the UN Security Council Resolution 2334 last year, which calls on the Tel Aviv regime to put an immediate end to its illegal settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories including East Jerusalem al-Quds.
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When the UN resolution was passed last December, Netanyahu summoned the representatives of most of the countries backing the measure and reduced diplomatic ties with 12 of them.
Tony Kay, the UK’s deputy ambassador to Israel, was among the summoned envoys who were reprimanded by the Israeli regime.