WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday he plans to continue to push for establishing a peaceful two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict after leaving the White House.
"If you want to preserve it [Israel] as a predominately Jewish state and a democracy, then you have to give Palestinian people and the Arab people who are living in that community, their own state in order to have self-determination and I hope that that happens and even once I am no longer president I will continue to try to promote that peaceful dialogue," Obama said during a town hall speech in Bueno Aires.
Obama admitted that doing so was an endeavour he was not able to accomplish as US president, and that he was "not hopeful" that a two-state solution was possible in the next nine months of his presidency.
"It's been 60 years, it's not going to happen in the next 9 months," Obama said.
The decades-long conflict between the Palestinians and Israelis has escalated in recent months following a series of knife and gun attacks by Palestinians in several Israeli cities.
Obama explained that Washington could not force the two sides toward a two-state solution, and until Israel and Palestine are able to realize that they make decisions "reflected in the political leaders they elect and the policies that they promote," there was little the United States could do to help them reach an agreement.
For decades, Palestinians have requested the diplomatic recognition of their independent state, proclaimed in 1988 on the territories of West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip, while Israel has continuously rejected the UN-endorsement for a two-state solution, envisaging Jewish and Palestinian states co-existing in peace.
Jerusalem, however, has continued to build settlements in occupied territories, prompting condemnation from the United Nations.