Top New Zealand diplomat says settlements killing two-state solution
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Top New Zealand diplomat says settlements killing two-state solution

Murray McCully says Wellington circulating draft United Nations resolution to force Israelis and Palestinians back to table

New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully speaks to the Lowy Institute in Sydney on March 15, 2016. (AFP/WILLIAM WEST)
New Zealand's Foreign Minister Murray McCully speaks to the Lowy Institute in Sydney on March 15, 2016. (AFP/WILLIAM WEST)

New Zealand’s foreign minister said in Sydney on Tuesday that Israel’s settlement activities are behind the disappearing viability of the two-state solution with the Palestinians.

In his address to the Lowy Institute for International Policy, Murray McCully said: “The situation on the ground gets worse, violence has escalated, and the viability of the two-state solution is disappearing as a consequence of Israeli settlement activity.”

The minister was speaking at the Institute founded by Sydney’s Lowy family headed by Jewish Westfield shopping center magnate Frank Lowy.

Before migrating to Australia, the Slovak-born Holocaust survivor fought in the 1948 War of Independence in Israel.

McCully added that the situation in the Middle East has deteriorated over the time that the development of settlements has continued.

He said that New Zealand’s Parliament “wants to see the United Nations Security Council shoulder its responsibilities on the Middle East Peace Process. For the Council to do nothing, while the scope for a two state solution is completely undermined, would be a total abrogation of its responsibilities.”

“As an elected member of the Council, we have a responsibility to make contributions,” McCully said, adding that New Zealand was circulating a draft resolution that would force the Israelis and the Palestinians back to the negotiating table.

President of the Zionist Federation of Australia Danny Lamm told JTA: “The New Zealand Foreign Minister is unfortunately misguided and in his attempt to promote peace has [passed off] blame on Israel when in fact there is no peace for one reason only: Israel’s enemies don’t want peace. [Former Palestinian Authority President Yasser] Arafat then [current PA President Mahmoud] Abbas have repeatedly rejected all peace offers. The Foreign Minister would do better to call on Abbas to reject violence and seek negotiation for a fair two-state solution.”

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