Former UK PM reaffirms support for two-state solution to Palestinian issue

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair reaffirmed on Wednesday his support for the two-state solution to the enduring Palestinian-Israeli conflict at a U.S.-led economic workshop held in the Bahraini capital of Manama.

“I remain a believer of the two-state solution, a believer of the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people for a state,” Blair said during his conversation with Jared Kushner, senior advisor of U.S. President Donald Trump, at the workshop focusing on Washington’s 50-billion-U.S.-dollar economic vision for the Palestinians, which is broadcast live on Youtube.

“If you can set the right political framework, then economy can start to work,” he told Kushner.

Blair encouraged the Palestinians and Israelis to establish some real sense of trust in each other with “genuine cultural acceptance from both sides.”

He also expressed his hope for at least a short-term agreement to be reached on the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by Hamas, to halt the violence and achieve some stability in the region.

At the end of the 15-minute conversation, the former British leader called on Arabs and Israelis to “talk together” and resort to “imagination, creativity and leadership” to solve the Palestinian issue.

The two-day Bahrain workshop, kicked off on Tuesday, was attended by a few Arab states and global financial lenders. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly called for the boycott of the U.S.-led workshop while Israel only sent a small business delegation.

Backed by the UN resolutions, the Palestinians seek to establish an independent, fully sovereign state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.