Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan expressed his skepticism to the Associated Press about possible upcoming peace-talks, pointing out how the two sides haven’t seriously negotiated in years.
Former United Nations chief Kofi Annan expressed hardy skepticism at the prospect of an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord as long as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas are leading negotiations.
Both Israel and the Palestinians haven’t engaged in serious, meaningful negotiations for years, Annan said to the Associated Press on Monday. “Given the leadership that is in place, I don’t see a possibility of making a deal,” Annan said in a wide-ranging interview.
Despite regional turmoil — with Syria’s civil war entering its sixth year and conflict heating up in Yemen — Annan says that ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is “crucial” and must remain a priority.
“To find a solution, you need to have in place leaders who are prepared to deal,” he said. “We haven’t seen that for a long time.”
Sitting down at the interview, Annan was flanked by three fellow members of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders working together for peace and human rights. Annan implored “mainstream leaders” to battle resurgent, right-wing nationalism rising in both America and Europe, as well as in Israel.
Annan added that US President Donald Trump’s impromptu foreign policy has weakened America’s leadership, saying that the US leader’s flip-flopping “makes it difficult for your friends” who seek the country’s guidance.
Trump had previously wavered on America’s long-term commitment to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians. At a press conference with Netanyahu in February 2017, Trump said that he was uncommitted to a solution.
“I am looking at two states or one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said, adding that “the two states looks like it could be the easier of the two.”
During the campaign, Trump had promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, a move that could upset tensions with the Arab world, since Jerusalem’s status remains undetermined until a final peace accord. After taking office, Trump abruptly shifted gears and held off on the campaign trail pledge.
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