Statement from Israel PM on two-state solution positive: Saudi FM

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Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister told Al Arabiya TV on Friday that Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid’s statement on the two-state solution with Palestinians was “positive” if it was translated into actions.

Peace needed direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud added.

Lapid called on Thursday for a two-state solution to decades of Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

His mention of a two-state solution, the first by an Israeli leader in years at the United Nations General Assembly, echoed US President Joe Biden's support in Israel in August for the long-dormant proposal.

“An agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel's security, for Israel's economy and for the future of our children,” Lapid said on Thursday.

He added any agreement would be conditioned on a peaceful Palestinian state that would not threaten Israel.

Lapid spoke less than six weeks before a November 1 election that could return to power the right-wing former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a longstanding opponent of the two-state solution.

Israel captured East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza - areas that Palestinians seek for an independent state - in a 1967 Middle East war. US-sponsored Israeli-Palestinian peace talks collapsed in 2014.

Palestinians and rights groups say Israel has entrenched its control of the occupied Palestinian territories through its military rule over millions of Palestinians and persistent settlement construction.

Wasel Abu Youssef, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, told Reuters that Lapid's words “mean nothing.”

“Whoever wants a two-state solution must implement it on the ground,” he said, by respecting previously reached agreements, stopping settlement expansion and recognizing East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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