Kerry: UN’s Israel Resolution Preserves Ability for Sides to Negotiate Peace

Kerry: UN’s Israel Resolution Preserves Ability for Sides to Negotiate Peace

MIDDLE EAST 04:08 24.12.2016

The UN resolution demanding that Israel stops settlement activities in the West Bank is not aimed at imposing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, but leaves both sides with the ability to negotiate one, US Secretary of State John Kerry said in a statement.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Earlier in the day, the UN Security Council adopted a draft resolution calling on Israel to immediately stop all settlement activities in the West Bank. The United States abstained from the vote despite calls by Israel to exercise its right to veto the measure.

“While we do not agree with every aspect of this resolution, it rightly condemns violence and incitement and settlement activity and calls on both sides to take constructive steps to reverse current trends and advance the prospects for a two state solution,” Kerry stated on Friday.

Kerry explained the resolution does not seek to impose on the parties a solution to the conflict.

“It preserves the ability for the parties to negotiate the end of conflict,” he added.

Kerry pointed out that the US action is aimed at preserving the chance for a two-state solution as “the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbors, and freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people.”

The US secretary of state argued that that future is now in jeopardy, with terrorism and violence continuing and unprecedented steps to expand settlements being advanced by avowed opponents of the two-state solution.

“That is why we cannot in good conscience stand in the way of a resolution at the United Nations that makes clear that both sides must act now to preserve the possibility of peace,” Kerry added.

Kerry is expected to publicly announce his broad outline or vision of what a two-state Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement before he leaves office in January, according to Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, who held a press-conferense hours after the vote.

“Kerry will be providing a comprehensive vision,” Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor for strategic communications told a conference call with reporters after the United States refused to veto on Friday a UN Resolution condemning Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.

Earlier on Friday, Kerry said in a statement that the Obama administration did not did not agree with everything in the Egyptian-drafted resolution.

However, Kerry welcomed the resolution’s call to condemn violence and for Israel to end its settlement-building.

The resolution, circulated by Egypt, states that Israel should immediately and completely cease all settlement activities in what it terms is occupied Palestinian territory, including in East Jerusalem.