PM aide: Netanyahu's Mideast policy likely by time of U.S. visit
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's review of Israel's policy on the Middle East is expected to be completed by the time he visits the United States next month, an aide to the premier said Tuesday.Defense Minister Ehud Barak told Haaretz on Monday that he believes Netanyahu will present the U.S. administration a diplomatic plan in line with the principle of "two states for two nations" during his upcoming visit to Washington."[Netanyahu] accepted the Oslo accords at the time. And it is clear that when a political settlement is signed with all the neighbors, it will stipulate a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, with the two living side by side," Barak said.
"I believe that even now, during Netanyahu's visit to Washington, Israel should come up with a formula about how it intends to move ahead, and that formula will not propose three states for eight nations," the defense minister added.The prime minister's office would not comment on Barak's remarks, but Netanyahu's aide said the policy review was under way and should be completed around the time Netanyahu goes to Washington.The same official said there was excellent coordination between Netanyahu and his defense minister.Netanyahu has balked at explicitly agreeing to Palestinian statehood since taking office last month, but has been under increasing pressure from Washington to resume peacemaking.The Obama administration has declared numerous times that it would remain committed to Israel's security, but has named as its policy dedication to the two-state solution.
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