The United States will push for a two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians until the end of President Barack Obama's mandate, Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Monday, according to AFP.
Speaking in Washington to a conference held by J Street, Kerry said attacks like Monday's on an Israeli bus in Jerusalem only underlined the need for a negotiated solution.
"Despite the fact that we have spent time and effort to try to get there for these past few years I can tell you that for these next nine months we will not stop working to find a way," Kerry was quoted as having said.
He insisted that pro-peace factions among both populations understand the importance of a viable Palestine alongside a secure Israel as the only basis for peace and democracy in the region.
"And so we will continue to advance the two-state solution as the only solution, because anything else will not be Jewish and it will not be democratic," he declared, to applause from J Street invitees.
The comments are contrary to recent ones made by Obama himself, who last month expressed pessimism over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being resolved during his tenure and added the conflict has been going for 60 years and would not be resolved in the next nine months.
Previously, officials in the Obama administration had admitted that reaching the two-state solution during Obama's time in office is unlikely. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently made similar comments.
At the same time, the United States has repeatedly stated that it believes that in the long term, the “two-state solution” is the only way to resolve the conflict.
Kerry himself has never given up on the prospects of a “two-state solution”. Several months ago he lashed out at Israel, saying that current trends in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict are leading to a “one-state solution” and warning that if that were to happen, Israel would risk no longer being a Jewish and democratic state.