WASHINGTON (JTA) — Secretary of State John Kerry told Congress he sees a maximum two-year window to bring about a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
Kerry delivered his remarks Wednesday to a hearing of the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.
Answering a question from Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the committee, Kerry said that among both Israeli and Palestinian leaders, "I have found the seriousness of purpose, a commitment to explore how we actually get to a negotiation."
However, he said, time is short.
"I can guarantee you that I am committed to this because I believe the window for a two-state solution is shutting," Kerry said. "I think we have some period of time in the year to year-and-a-half to two years or it’s over."
Kerry said that was the impression throughout the region — "and I’ve been struck in my travels, incidentally, by how many people, everywhere, raise this subject and want us to move forward on a peace effort," he said. "They’re all worried about the timing here. So there’s an urgency to this in my mind and I intend, on behalf of the president’s instructions, to honor that urgency and see what we can do to move forward."