WASHINGTON — A comprehensive peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians will require compromise from both sides, US Vice President Mike Pence said on Monday night.
Speaking at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual conference— which he called the most “influential” Israel lobby in Washington— Pence said that administration officials were working to prepare Trump's peace plan.
"As we gather here, our team– Jared Kushner, Jason Greenblatt, and our great ambassador [David Friedman]– are hard at work crafting our administration’s vision for peace," Pence continued. "And while any peace will undoubtedly require compromise, know this: The United States of America will never compromise the safety and security of the Jewish State of Israel."
He said that the Trump administration still considers Middle East peace a high priority, despite the struggle ahead, and that it would support a two-state solution if both sides agree to it.
"Under President Trump, the United States remains fully committed to achieve a lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians," Pence said. "In announcing his decision on Jerusalem, the president also called, in his words, 'on all parties to maintain the status quo at Jerusalem’s Holy Sites.' And he made it clear that we were not taking any position on final status issues, or specific boundaries, or the resolution of contested borders. And as the president reaffirmed, if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution."
Israeli officials declined again on Monday to expressly endorse a two-state solution that doesn’t include fundamental security guarantees for the Jewish state, such as a permanent military presence in the Jordan Valley.
And yet a true peace also requires “truth-telling,” Pence said, touting President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
The line received rapturous applause from the AIPAC crowd. Over 18,000 people are attending the annual conference.
The vice president gave a wide-ranging speech, addressing issues like ISIS and the Iran nuclear deal in addition to American-Israeli relations.