Finance Minister Yair Lapid said on Friday that his Yesh Atid party was committed to the “two-state solution” to end the Israeli-Arab conflict.
Lapid made the comments during a meeting in Paris with French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.
During the meeting, Lapid also thanked the French minister for his country’s support in the efforts to have the European Union blacklist Hizbullah as a terrorist organization. The two also discussed the Iranian threat and the strengthening of the sanctions against Tehran.
A spokesperson for the Finance Ministry said that the meeting with Fabius was held in a good atmosphere and lasted longer than had been planned.
Lapid recently gave an interview to the New York Times in which he said that Israel should not change its policy on Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria in order to revive the stalemated peace process, and that Jerusalem should not serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Lapid said he would not stop the so-called “natural expansion” of the Jewish communities, nor curtail the financial incentives offered to Israelis to move there. He said that eastern Jerusalem, liberated by Israel in the Six Day War, must stay Israeli, because “we didn’t come here for nothing.”
He said that tens of thousands of Jews would someday be uprooted from what he described as “remote settlements," but that this problem should be set aside for now. He advocated the immediate creation of an interim Palestinian state in parts of Judea and Samaria where no Jews live, with final borders drawn in perhaps three, four or five years.
Lapid later told a meeting of his party that he does not plan on “falling into the classic trap of the left, which at the beginning of negotiations reveals immediately what it plans to give away – a situation that turns what is supposed to be the end of the negotiation process into the beginning. You don't come to negotiations with just an olive branch in your hand.”
(Arutz Sheva’s North American Desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)