UK: Time running out for two-state solution

ByREUTERS, JPOST.COM STAFF
January 16, 2012 19:14

PM Cameron says "facts on the ground" making two-state solution more difficult during PA President Abbas's UK visit.




David Cameron with Mahmoud Abbas.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron with Mahmoud Abbas 311. (photo credit:REUTERS/Andrew Winning)

Time is running out for a "two-state solution" to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians, British Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday, after a visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

"We think that time, in some ways, is running out for the two state solution unless we can push forward now, because otherwise the facts on the ground will make it more and more difficult, which is why the settlement issue remains so important," Cameron said.



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All parties to peace talks have accepted the ultimate goal of a two-state solution that would see a Palestinian state established alongside Israel, but both sides remain divided over its borders, the fate of Palestinian refugees and other issues.

The
British Jewish Chronicle reported that British Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said that Israeli settlements in the West Bank are "deliberate vandalism," underlining the UK government's hardening line.


Speaking alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas during his visit to the UK, Clegg condemned continuous settlement building in the "strongest possible terms."

Abbas welcomed the official remarks, according to the London-based Jewish paper. The PA president was in London ahead of negotiations between Israeli and Palestinian delegations in Amman, Jordan.

The UK has been consistently critical regarding Israeli settlement plans, including those in areas of east Jerusalem past the Green Line.

In late December, the UK
Minister for the Middle East and North Africa Alistair Burt called a project for 130 new housing units in east Jerusalem a "provocative and deeply counter-productive step, the latest in a series by the Israeli authorities."

Still, the Israel Land Administration views much of the land in east Jerusalem where tenders for new construction projects announced as belonging to the state.

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