Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

NZ talks to Kerry about UN Security Council resolution on Israel-Palestine conflict

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister John Key during a joint-press conference after their bi-lateral talks at Premiere House in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell
US Secretary of State John Kerry and Prime Minister John Key during a joint-press conference after their bi-lateral talks at Premiere House in Wellington. Photo / Mark Mitchell

One of the closed-door discussions between United States Secretary of State John Kerry and the New Zealand Government today was a potential resolution by the United Nations Security Council on a two-state solution for the Israel - Palestinian conflict.

After the talks, Foreign Minister Murray McCully even raised the possibility of the US or New Zealand sponsoring a resolution.

"It is a conversation we are engaged in deeply and we've spent some time talking to Secretary Kerry about where the US might go on this.

"It is something that is still in play," McCully told reporters after talks today in Wellington.

McCully is leaving for the Middle East tomorrow to meet with leaders and counterparts in Jordan, Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories.

Making some progress on the conflict has been one of New Zealand's primary aims on its two years on the Security Council, which end next month,but the immediate situation in Syria has taken a great deal of attention away from it.

The Israeli Government continues to allow Jewish settlements in the West Bank, which threatens the viability of a Palestinian state there, alongside Israel.

Murray McCully, right, and John Key at the UN in New York in September. Photo / Supplied
Murray McCully, right, and John Key at the UN in New York in September. Photo / Supplied

McCully said that Donald Trump's Administration was going to have to reflect on where it wanted to go after it took power in January "but I think there are some very important decisions that the Obama Administration is going to have to make in its lame-duck period on this issue."

New Zealand's preference was for one of the countries from the region to advance a resolution to the Security Council, he said.

"We've always said we deferred to that but we'd do something ourselves if there was no one stepping up."

He said there were indications a resolution from the Arab group wanted to focus on settlements.

New Zealand preferred something focused more broadly on the two-state-solution that protected its status as the accepted international basis for a resolution.

"But that is something that the US system is digesting post the election results as well," he said.

"They also believe the two-state solution has been under serious threat and that some form of restatement, reassertion of that principle is called for.

"Whether that means they would initiate their own resolution or support one from somewhere else is obviously dependent upon political developments in the US and the actual words that get put to paper."

McCully said it would be a very serious development if the two-state solution was abandoned.

"If that is the case, it follows that you start to look at the two different standards of citizenship that exists in the one country that remains and that is not a path that any friend of Israel would want to see them go down."

- NZ Herald

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