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U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo listens during the news conference in Reykjavik.(Photo by: ASGEIR ASGEIRSSON/REUTERS)
Pompeo declines to reaffirm Trump commitment to two-state solution
By OMRI NAHMIAS
04/13/2019
In a four minutes exchange between Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Secretary Pompeo, the two argued about the prospects of an upcoming peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.
WASHINGTON – US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo refused to endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During a Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Wednesday regarding the State Department 2020 budget request, Pompeo expressed hope that the upcoming peace plan would create the conditions in which Israelis and Palestinians could solve the conflict, but did not provide any specifics.

In a four-minute exchange between Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Virginia) and Pompeo, the two argued about the prospects of an upcoming peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Kaine pressured Pompeo to declare the US official position is still to back the two-state solution, but Pompeo declined to give a definite answer.

“I want to ask you about what US policy is right now,” said Kaine. “Would we support annexation of the West Bank? Do we oppose it? Are we indifferent to whether that happened?”

Responded Pompeo: “We are now working with many parties to share what our vision [is] as to how to resolve this problem,” adding that “for decades, there had been all these wonderful experts that have tried to resolve this crisis in the Middle East, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people, and they have each failed. So the old set of ideas aren’t worth retreading. They have simply not succeeded. We are hopeful that our vision, our ideas about what this might look like, how we might proceed to do that, will create the conditions where the Israelis and the Palestinians can resolve this.”

When Kaine asked Pompeo whether he believes that the two-state solution falls into the category of “old ideas,” the secretary of state replied: “It’s certainly been an idea that’s been around a long time, senator. I would argue that millions of man-hours have been spent to try and build out a two-state solution. It hasn’t worked to date. It may work this afternoon, but it hasn’t.”

Kaine tried again, and asked Pompeo if there was a change in US policy.

“You can probably ask 15 other different ways, too, senator,” said Pompeo. “I think ultimately the individuals in the region will sort this out. We want good things for the Palestinians.”

AIPAC tweeted at on Wednesday that "Once again, Israel has demonstrated through the ballot box that it is a vibrant democracy with a wide diversity of views and robust citizen involvement. We congratulate @IsraeliPM @netanyahu and all the newly elected members of the Knesset."


Jason Greenblatt tweeted on Wednesday night, "Congratulations to Bibi @Netanyahu on the results of the Israeli election. Thanks to @POTUS, the bond between our two countries has never been stronger!"

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in interviews during the last days of his reelection campaign that he will consider annexing parts of the West Bank after the elections. The White House remained silent on that issue so far.
 
Last week, Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, refused to endorse a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. During a Senate Foreign Relations committee hearing Wednesday regarding the State Department 2020 budget request, Pompeo expressed hope that the upcoming peace plan would create the conditions in which Israelis and Palestinians could solve the conflict but did not provide any specifics. 
 
In a four minutes exchange between Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA) and Secretary Pompeo, the two argued about the prospects of an upcoming peace process between Israel and the Palestinians. Senator Kaine Pressured Pompeo to say if the US official position is still to back the two-state solution, but Pompeo declined to give a definite answer.
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