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February 21, 2017 9:42

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04:31 17 February 2017

U.S. still backs 2-state solution to Mideast row: envoy

NEW YORK, Feb. 16, Kyodo

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said Thursday the United States still backs a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, a day after President Donald Trump refrained from explicitly endorsing it.

"The two-state solution is what we support. Anybody that wants to say the United States doesn't support the two-state solution -- that would be an error," Haley told reporters at U.N. headquarters.

"We absolutely support the two-state solution but we are thinking out of the box as well, which is 'What does it take to bring these two sides to the table? What do we need to have them agree on?'" she said.

Haley's remarks came after Trump said Wednesday he is open to ideas other than a two-state solution. The U.S. Middle East policy has for decades been that Israel and the Palestinians must work to establish two states living side by side, with Palestinians to ultimately create an independent state.

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like," he said at a joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House.

"I can live with either one. I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two but honestly...if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best," Trump said.

==Kyodo

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