United Nations chief: 'No alternative' to Palestine-Israel solution

Erekat, who is PLO Executive Committee secretary-general and one of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's closest advisers, said that the Palestinian leadership firmly backs the two-state solution.

They were the first top-level talks between a Trump administration official and the Palestinians.

Al Jazeera's Bernard Smith, reporting from West Jerusalem, told Al Jazeera that Netanyahu's right-wing coalition partners were hoping him to announce that he was abandoning a two-state solution during his visit to Washington.

The remarks, appearing to distance the United States from one of its defining foreign policy pillars of the last two decades and a premise long regarded as central to the Middle East peace process, caught Palestinian officials by surprise.

Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are due to meet in Washington later on Wednesday for the first time since the USA election in November that brought the Republican to office.

"The Americans needed to understand that the collapse of the PA - in such a manner that there will be no way to implement the two-state solution, as quite a few elements in the Netanyahu government are striving for - will lead to the entry of extremist elements, perhaps associated with Iran", a Palestinian source told Haaretz. Pompeo, who was nominated by Trump for the top intelligence position in November and confirmed last month, reportedly held talks with Abbas along with top officials intelligence chief Maj.

"I'm looking at two-state, one-state, and I like the one that both parties like".

Trump on Wednesday said he could support either a one-state or two-state solution. During his joint press conference with Netanyahu on Wednesday, Trump stated that he was open to whichever solution was acceptable to both sides. "It is impossible. I believe undermining the two-state solution is not a joke and that would be a disaster and tragedy for Israelis and Palestinians", Erekat added. Palestinians seek diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. But given regional instability and long-running divisions in Palestinian politics, many in his cabinet argue the time is not ripe for a Palestinian state to emerge.

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