Israel is ready to embrace a 'historic' peace and a two-state solution to the Palestinian issue, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during a meeting between the two on Thursday.
"On the Palestinian issue, I want to say that Israel is ready for a historic peace, and it's a peace based on two states for two peoples," Netanyahu said in a joint statement with Kerry.
Peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel were kick-started over the summer but have faced numerous setbacks in the form of continued acts of Palesitinian terror, Israeli settlement building in the West Bank and political opposition from parties on both sides of the table.
One particular knock the Palestinians have consistenly made on Netanyahu is what they see as his insincerity to pursue a realistic peace deal.
Netanyahu addressed this issue in the statement, saying, "I would also stress that Israel continues to honor all understandings reached in prior negotiations."
He added: "We don't need artificial crises. I think we don't need finger-pointing either."
How close the two sides are to an agreement, and any details pertaining to such a deal, are hard to say as the discussions have remained largely behind closed doors.
Still, Kerry expressed an undiminished optimism that the talks are continuing smoothly and will eventually be resolved successfuly.
"With respect to the direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, we have always known that this is a difficult, complicated road. And we understand that. I believe we are making some progress and the parties remain committed to this task," Kerry said.
In the statement, both Kerry and Netanyahu reitirated the neccessity for assurances of Israel's security as part of any peace deal.
The two also discussed their differing opinions on the recent deal reached between Iran and the United States, in concert with other world powers.