British foreign secretary warns of "terrible consequences" of not reaching a two-state solution

Secretary of State John Kerry has been working in tense negotiations for months with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to form a two-state solution to bring peace to the region.
Posted By Aileen Graef  |  Feb. 6, 2014 at 9:13 AM
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LONDON, Feb. 6 (UPI) -- British Foreign Secretary William Hague warns of "terrible consequences" for both Israel and the Palestinians if they do not come to a two-state solution soon. In an interview with BBC's HARDtalk, Hague said in reference to Secretary Kerry's warning, "He's right to warn about that. I have warned Israeli leaders as well as Palestinians much of the world will see this as the last chance at a two-state solution."

He paid tribute to Kerry's efforts in the peace negotiations and said that if "John Kerry with the weight of the United States, all his experience and standing in the Middle East and the world cannot bring the two sides together to reach final status agreement, who can?"

Kerry's firm warning to Israeli leaders was not well received. Israeli Strategic Affairs Minister Yuval Steinitz accused the secretary of state of forcing Israel to negotiate with "a gun to its head."

Hague said the EU is not putting a gun to their head through their economic "guidelines" with the country. He said that if the negotiations are successful, what the EU is offering is "an unprecedented package of economic partnership and assistance." He said if they are not successful then he predicts very dark times for both Israelis and Palestinians, and there are great consequences to fear.

The consequences he mentioned include a tremendous amount of international pressure put on the state of Israel by the international community and the U.N. As for Palestinians, he said, "Their situation would be pretty desperate as well."


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