Sen. Tim Kaine grills Pompeo on two states

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo deflected on whether the U.S. supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in an exchange with Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA), during a hearing at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Sen. Kaine: Tell me what U.S. policy is right now: Would we support an annexation of the West Bank, do we oppose it, or are we indifferent to whether that happens?

Sec. Pompeo: “We are now working with many parties to share what our vision is for how to solve this problem. Senator, you would concede that for decades now there have been all of these wonderful experts that have tried resolve this crisis in the Middle East, the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian people, and they have each failed. So the old set of ideas aren’t worth retreading… We are hopeful that our vision, our ideas of what this might look like, how we might proceed to do that, will create the conditions where the Israelis and the Palestinians can resolve this. So I am not going to get in front of what’s in there.”

Kaine:Do you think the two-state solution is an old idea whose time has gone?

Pompeo: “It’s certainly been an idea that’s been around a long time, Senator.”

Kaine: Yeah, but you talked about all the ideas that we have to set aside. Is the U.S. policy to set aside the idea of a two state solution that was at the origin of the United States’s recognition of the state of Israel?

Pompeo: “I would argue that millions of man hours have been spent to try and build out a two state solution. It hasn’t worked to date. It may work this afternoon, but it hasn’t worked yet.”

Kaine: Is that still a goal of the U.S. or is that no longer [a goal]? 

Pompeo: “You can probably ask me fifteen other ways too, Senator. I am going to allow this process that we have, engaging with the parties, work its way through.”

Kaine:How about if I say it this way: ‘It has been a policy of the U.S. I agree with that. I think it should be the policy.’ Do you agree with me or disagree with me?

Pompeo: “I think, ultimately, individuals in the region will sort this out. We want good things for the Palestinian people.” [CSPAN]

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