Mariel Saez 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement in response to Secretary of State John Kerry's speech earlier today on Middle East peace:
"I was reassured to hear that Secretary Kerry today did not call for further action by the Security Council. While not taking further action is important, it's also important that we make clear that we do not support actions taken at the U.N. or other international fora by others. Resolution 2334 will not bring peace closer. Already, President Abbas is using that resolution to justify stalling peace efforts by Palestinians and insisting on unilateral steps by Israel.
"Secretary Kerry's remarks outlined longstanding American principles that only a two-state solution is a viable one; that Palestinian violence and incitement undermines that goal; that there will be no so-called 'right of return' that would undermine Israel as a Jewish state; and that the government of Israel will also need to take steps for peace.
"The question is: how do the parties get there? As I have long stated, negotiations are the only way to achieve a two-state goal. Resolutions at the U.N. or one-sided declarations that impose preconditions on the parties do not help.
"The United States will have a role to play in helping both parties reach the goal of lasting peace, even if that involves highlighting uncomfortable facts on the ground, as Secretary Kerry did. Nonetheless, I continue to believe that the U.N. Security Council is the wrong forum for critiquing Israeli policies. As I have said many times, no solution should be imposed from outside, nor should the United States, the United Nations, or any other nation or international organization seek to prejudge any formulation for a final settlement, which must be worked out by the parties themselves.
"Now is the time for the United States to play a constructive role by supporting Israel in its efforts to reach a lasting peace that brings real security to its people."