French FM says US position on Mideast peace 'confusing'

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Washington's position on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains "confusing", French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said after talks with his US counterpart Rex Tillerson in Germany on Thursday.

"I have got a bit more clarity (on the US position) even if on the Israeli-Palestinian issue it remains very confusing and concerning and I made a point of telling him that," Ayrault said, a day after President Donald Trump stepped back from the US commitment to a two-state solution as part of a final peace deal.

Ayrault said he had reaffirmed France's commitment to the two-state solution and its belief that this is the only viable way forward.

"A possible Palestinian state will also be a guarantee for the security of Israel," he said.

At a meeting in Washington on Wednesday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump shelved Washington's decades-long commitment to a two-state solution, breaking with the international consensus that it provides the only way forward.

His move sparked widespread criticism and dismay but was welcomed by Netanyahu as a long-overdue recognition of reality.

Trump's predecessor Barack Obama had repeatedly warned Israel that if it did not agree a two-state deal with the Palestinians, it would never reach an accommodation with the Arab world.

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