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Palestinan envoy to UN says world should pressure Israel to resume peace talks

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US correspondent based in New York

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour says Israeli opposition to the two-state solution should not be allowed to determine whether the international community will act in order to bring about such a result.

In remarks during the Security Council’s monthly session on the Middle East, Mansour notes that previous Israeli prime ministers who opposed Palestinian statehood were still able to be coaxed into entering peace talks.

“Thirty years ago, when the Madrid Peace Conference was held, it was not an expression of the will of the parties, it was the reflection of the strong will of the international community that left the parties with no option but to show up. The Conference was not successful in itself, but it generated a dynamic that allowed peace efforts to reach new heights and to achieve a breakthrough,” Mansour says.

Palestinian Ambassador to the United Nations Riyad Mansour address a UN Security Council meeting on the Palestinian and Israeli conflict at UN headquarters, on March 26, 2019. (Bebeto Matthews/AP)

“If anybody had assessed the chances of success when [Yitzhak] Shamir was prime minister, they would have thought that these efforts were doomed and therefore useless. The statements and political positions of Israeli prime ministers cannot be the decisive factor to determine if peace efforts have a chance of success,” he adds.

Current Prime Minister Naftali Bennett opposes a two-state solution and says he will not meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, let alone sit down for negotiations with him.

However, he leads a unity government that will see Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, a proponent of two states, take the helm in November 2023.

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