Thu Feb 16, 2017 6:47PM
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations
Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations

The United States "absolutely" supports a two-state solution for Israelis and the people of Palestine but is trying to find new ways to advance towards a peace deal between the two sides, says Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations.

"We absolutely support a two-state solution, but we are thinking out-of-the-box as well," Haley told reporters following a UN Security Council meeting on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Thursday.

The US diplomat repeated her statement in support of the two-state solution three times in response to questions from reporters. Washington wants to help bring the Israelis and Palestinians "at the table to have them talk through this in a fresh way, to say 'okay we're going back to the drawing board: what can we agree on?'" Haley asked.

Her remarks came a day after US President Donald Trump said at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he is open to supporting either a one-state or two-state solution.

"I’m looking at two-state, one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. … I can live with either one," Trump said on Wednesday.

"I thought for a while the two-state [solution] looked to be the easier of the two, but honestly, if Bibi and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best."

US President Donald Trump (right) and Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu shakes hands during a joint press conference in the East Room of the White House on February 15, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Photo by AFP)

Meanwhile, a senior White House official told Reuters on Tuesday that US President Donald Trump will not pursue decades of American policy in favor of the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"A two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve," the official said.

According to American author Ralph Schoenman, the two-state solution that the US Democrats and Republicans have pursued over the years is “totally fraudulent.”

Schoenman told Press TV on Wednesday that the statement by Trump that “he is not insisting upon a two-state solution and is prepared to accommodate himself to Netanyahu’s determination to abandon and reject the possibility of a two-state solution, is essentially an embrace of an agenda on the part of both Israel and the United States of an escalated conflict in the region.”

This file photo shows a general view of the illegal Israeli Ramat Shlomo settlement in East Jerusalem al-Quds. (Photo by AFP)

Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.

The continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle to the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

The Palestinian Authority wants the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinians state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.