Kerry: Peace will make Israel stronger

Kerry described the peace process as a “critical threading of the needle that needs to happen”

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U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said on Saturday he believed a two-state solution between Israelis and Palestinians would safeguard Israel and be in the interest of its security needs.

Reiterating the United States’ commitment to Israel’s security, Kerry insisted that “peace will make Israel stronger.”

Kerry laid out details of U.S. efforts to convince Israel that its security could be ensured in any final peace deal, in what was described by the official as the deepest-ever analysis of Israel’s security needs.

Speaking at the Brookings Institution’s Saban Forum, Kerry said U.S. Middle East security envoy General John Allen was working closely with Israeli forces.

“He is helping us make sure that the border on the Jordan River will be as strong as any in the world, so that there will be no question about the security of the citizens, Israelis and Palestinians, living to the west of it,” Kerry said.

“Never before has the United States conducted such an in-depth analysis of Israel’s security requirements that arise from a two-state solution,” Kerry said.

Also speaking at the forum, U.S. President Barack Obama said earlier that Allen had concluded “that it is possible to create a two-state solution that preserves Israel’s core security needs.”

“That’s his conclusion, but ultimately he’s not the decision-maker here, Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli military and intelligence folks have to make that determination.”

Allen briefed Netanyahu on his conclusions on Thursday. Meanwhile, Kerry is due to meet Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday morning in Washington.

Kerry said more than 160 U.S. experts were coordinating with the Palestinians and the Jordanians as well as Israelis and running multiple scenarios, including future border issues and terrorism, to pinpoint Israel’s needs.

He described the process as a “critical threading of the needle that needs to happen.”

“What we put on the table is deadly serious, real.”

(With AFP)

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