Secretary of State John Kerry will on Wednesday make a speech regarding the peace process between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) and discuss next steps needed to resolve the conflict, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday, according to Reuters.
Kerry will offer a “comprehensive vision” of how he believes the process should be revived, Toner said.
The Secretary of State Kerry believes “it is his duty in his remaining weeks and days as Secretary of State to lay out what he believes is a way towards a two-state solution,” he continued.
“It’s always important to keep the process moving forward,” Toner told reporters. “We haven’t given up on this and we don’t think the Israelis and Palestinians should do either.”
Kerry last led a failed Israel-PA peace effort in 2014. Those talks ended when the PA breached their conditions and unilaterally applied to join international institutions.
His speech on the peace process comes less than a week after the UN Security Council passed an anti-Israel resolution condemning Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria. The resolution passed when the U.S. abstained in the vote, allowing it to go through.
Toner on Tuesday rejected claims that the Obama administration had pushed for the Security Council resolution.
“There was nothing pre-cooked, this was not some move orchestrated by the United States,” Toner stressed, according to Reuters.
He defended the administration’s decision to abstain during the vote, saying the United States wanted to “send a clear message about our concerns about settlement activity.”
“We don’t want this to create a diplomatic firestorm,” he added.
Israeli Ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer told CNN on Monday that Israel has proof that the Obama administration was behind Friday’s UN Security Council resolution.
“We will present this evidence to the new administration through the appropriate channels. If they want to share it with the American people they are welcome to do it,” said Dermer.
According to Dermer, not only did the U.S. not stand by Israel’s side during the vote, it “was behind this ganging up on Israel at the UN.”
Obama’s deputy national security adviser, Ben Rhodes, later fired back and told Israel’s Channel 2 News that “Israeli intransigence” led to the vote in the Security Council.