Two-state solution only means to avoid Israeli apartheid: Palestinian FM

Two-state solution only means to avoid Israeli apartheid: Palestinian FM
Foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki made the warning to a conference in Rome, calling on Europe to take a leading role as the Trump administration pursues a hardline pro-Israel stance.
2 min read
23 November, 2018
Palestinian FM Riyad al-Maliki holds a press conference [Getty]
Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said on Friday that the world must recommitt to a two-state solution to avoid Israel becoming an apartheid state.

"The Palestinians are still waiting for the international community to try to resolve the Palestinian problem that has been created by the international community," with the foundation of Israel in 1948, he said at a conference in Rome.

"Unfortunately, none of you is taking serious, credible and responsible steps to solve the problem," he added.

Maliki slammed the US administration of President Donald Trump "which has really sided with Israel, taken the wrong side of history, of justice".

The Palestinians have already vowed to block Trump's "Deal of the Century" peace plan and severed ties with his administration after his December decision to move the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and declare the city Israel's capital.

Diplomats in the region say the Trump administration's current blueprint for a peace plan - as conveyed during a tour of officials earlier this year - does not include East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, the right of return for refugees or a freeze on new Israeli settlements that are illegal under international law.

The Palestinians see Jerusalem as the capital of their future state and international consensus has been that the city's status must be negotiated between the two sides.

"If the Americans are not willing to do anything, Europe should do that," Maliki said.

"We should force the change to happen, that's why we are pushing for a European role," including backing an international peace conference.

"It's not our responsibility to protect the two-state solution, it's your responsibility," he said, without which Israel would continue to develop separate systems for Israelis and Palestinians, as it already does with road networks and public transport.

"I don't believe any of you will accept another apartheid regime to emerge in the 21st century," Maliki said.

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