Netanyahu ‘willing’ to discuss two-state solution

Israel’s PM also hoped that the US would continue to reject any move towards a UNSC resolution backing Palestinian statehood

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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is ready to begin talks ‘immediately, without preconditions’ for a two-state solution with Palestine, but insisted that his counterpart Mahmoud Abbas was not.

Netanyahu made the comments at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) conference via satellite from Jerusalem on Tuesday.

He also hoped that the United States would continue to reject any move towards a UN Security Council resolution backing Palestinian statehood.

“A Security Council Resolution to pressure Israel would further harden Palestinian positions and thereby could actually kill the chances of peace for many, many years,” he told a meeting of the powerful American-Israel Public Affairs Committee lobbying group.

Netanyahu’s speech returned the conference focus to policy after a turn to partisan politics on Monday when Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump took to the stage and denounced President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

AIPAC’s leaders distanced the group from his remarks before Netanyahu’s speech on Tuesday.

“Peace won’t come through U.N. Security Council resolutions but through direct negotiations between the parties. The best formula for achieving peace remains two states for two peoples in which a demilitarized Palestinian state finally recognizes the Jewish state,” Netanyahu said.