The UN envoy for the Middle East peace process, Nickolay Mladenov, told the Security Council on Thursday that the “two-state solution” remains "the only way" to achieve peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.
The council met to discuss the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict a day after President Donald Trump met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and asserted that he would not necessarily push for a two-state solution as part of a final peace deal.
"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one," Trump said at a joint press conference with Netanyahu on Wednesday.
Mladenov told the Council on Thursday, "The two-state solution remains the only way to achieve the legitimate national aspirations of both peoples.”
"Some may hold the illusion that the conflict can be 'managed' indefinitely," Mladenov said, adding, "That the absence of a clear strategy to advance peace is a strategy in itself."
The envoy urged Israeli and Palestinian Authority (PA) leaders to "carefully contemplate the future," which he warned could be one "built on perpetual conflict, rising extremism and occupation."
The United States’ Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, clarified Trump’s comments after the Security Council meeting, telling reporters the Trump administration was interested in pursuing new approaches to solving the Israeli-Arab conflict.
“Anybody that wants to say the United States does not support the two-state solution, that would be an error," Haley explained. "We absolutely support a two-state solution, but we are thinking out-of-the-box as well."
Meanwhile, Britain, France and Sweden reaffirmed their support for a two-state solution on Thursday.
"It is very dangerous to move away from the two-state solution idea, especially before you have something viable as an alternative," Sweden's Ambassador Olof Skoog warned.
"We don't see any viable alternative right now," Skoog told reporters ahead of the meeting.
British Ambassador Matthew Rycroft said his government "continues to believe that the best solution for peace in the Middle East is the two-state solution."
French Ambassador Francois Delattre echoed Mladenov's comments, saying that "should the prospect of a Palestinian State disappear, it would open the door to more extremism and more terrorism."
AFP contributed to this report.