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Czech President expresses doubt over two-state solution

Nov. 26, 2018 2:38 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 29, 2018 12:02 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- The President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, expressed doubt over the possibility of a two-state solution and told Israel’s President, Reuven Rivlin, that he looks forward to learning about ideas for a "one-state with two nations," adding that he cannot envision an independent state in the besieged Gaza Strip.

Zeman told Rivlin during a meeting in Jerusalem, "I was inspired by your idea about one state with two nations, and I know this idea is provocative, any big and deep idea is provocative."

Zeman continued, "For many decades there is a discussion about two independent states but frankly speaking I do not see an independent state in Gaza because I understand Hamas as a terrorist organization and not as a state.”

Zeman added, “I firmly hope that the situation in Israel will be better.”

Rivlin responded to Zeman’s remark about the one-state solution, but refrained from providing a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Rivlin stressed, “When I am talking about Israel, I mean Israel is a Jewish and Democratic state. Israel cannot be a Jewish state without being a democratic one, and it cannot be a democratic one without being a Jewish state.”

Rivlin noted, “Israel will always be a democracy for all its citizens."

Zeman arrived in Israel on Sunday for an official three-day visit, during which he is to speak before the Israeli Knesset, where he is expected to reiterate his hope to move Czech Republic’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, even though the decision is not under his authority.

In addition, Zeman is expected to inaugurate the Czech House, a cultural center, in Western Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Earlier this month, Czech Republic’s Foreign Minister, Tomas Petricek, confirmed that Czech Republic's embassy would remain in Tel Aviv, in line with international law and the European Union (EU). He also stressed that the Czech Republic supports the two-state solution as stipulated in the international resolutions.

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