Israel's Livni says two-state solution meets "most basic" interest of Jews

# 13 March 2013 18:45 (UTC +04:00)

Baku-APA. Forging a peace deal based on the two-state solution should be the fundamental priority of Israel's foreign policy, former Israeli foreign minister and Hatnuah (the Movement) party chairwoman Tzipi Livni said Wednesday at the Herzliya Conference, APA reports quoting Xinhua.

Livni said it is "critical" for Israel to reach a final status agreement with the Palestinians.

"It has been an open wound since 1967... and has to be healed. Having two states for two peoples is the most basic and only interest of the Jewish people, and the only way we can preserve the existence of a democratic Jewish state," Livni said.

Her remarks come amid a sharp surge in violent confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in recent months. A 22-year-old Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops late Tuesday night during a clash in the Al-Fawar refugee camp near Hebron.

In her keynote address at a panel entitled "Is the Israeli- Palestinian impasse breakable?" Livni, who is due to serve as justice minister in the next Israeli government, said, "Just as the Palestinians need to know that there are Jews between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea, we need to know that there are Palestinians in the same place."

Livni asserted that Palestinians and Israelis must cease debating "who has the greater right to be here" at the negotiating table. "We have to see how we can create more than just a shared life," Livni argued. "We need to see whether we can live together, even though I don't want to live together. I want a divorce," she said.

Touching on U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Israel next week, his first to the country since he took office in 2009, Livni said it presented a "wonderful opportunity" for the next Israeli government "to create that crucial dialogue" with its closest ally.

"I believe that next week there is going to be a new opportunity to create a dialogue on a matter of principles and to mold a mutual understanding that these are Israel's interests," she said.

The Herzliya Conference is an annual security and policy gathering of top local and international decision-makers and academics. This year's meeting, the 13th Annual Herzliya Conference, takes place on March 11 to March 14.

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