Washington (CNN)Secretary of State Antony Blinken insisted Sunday that there will eventually be a prospect for a peaceful political solution between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas, saying one must come following a “critical” ceasefire declared in the region last week.
“I think there has to be. I think both sides are reminded that we have to find a way to break the cycle, because if we don’t it will repeat itself at great cost,” Blinken told CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on “GPS” when asked if he thinks there is a prospect of some kind of movement toward a genuine political solution.
In a separate interview Sunday with ABC News, Blinken credited the Biden administration’s “relentless, determined, but quiet diplomacy” in the region, saying it’s “what got us to where we needed to be.”
The comments come several days after Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas agreed to a ceasefire following more than a week of conflict that left hundreds dead, most of them Palestinians. Blinken, who told ABC that the ceasefire was “critical,” said the US is now pivoting to “dealing with the grave humanitarian situation in Gaza.”
“Then reconstruction, rebuilding what’s been lost, and critically, engaging both sides in trying to start to make real improvements … so that Israelis and Palestinians can live with equal measures of security of peace and of dignity,” he told the network.
Blinken also refused to say whether the Biden administration would pursue the proposed peace deal brokered under then-President Donald Trump and spearheaded by his son-in-law and former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner.
“I don’t think we’re at the — in a place where the getting to some kind of negotiation for what ultimately I think has to be the result, which is a two-state solution, is the first order of business,” he said. “We have to start building back in concrete ways and offering some genuine hope, prospects, opportunities in the lives of people.”
Pressed on whether the US still endorses the plan, Blinken again wouldn’t answer directly, saying: “We’re going to look at everything that has been done before, l
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