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May defends two-state solution on Balfour centennial

London, Nov 3 (IANS) British Prime Minister Theresa May has backed a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestine conflict.

She made this assertion while hosting her Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu at an event here on Thursday to mark the 100th anniversary of the Balfour Declaration in which the United Kingdom gave its support to the Zionist project, Efe news reported.

“Britain remains committed to a two-state solution. I’m sure we will want to be talking about the peace process in the Middle East,” she told Netanyahu when he met her at the beginning of a four-day visit.

According to a statement issued by the British Government, May said she was concerned by “illegal settlements” in Palestine.

She invited Netanyahu to London to underline the key role London had played in creating Israel.

On November 2, 1917, as World War I still raged, British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour expressed the government’s support for a Jewish state in Palestine, a territory then ruled by the Ottoman Turks, where Jews represented roughly 10 per cent of the population.

The Balfour Declaration made Britain the first world power to recognize the Zionist movement.

The Balfour Declaration was followed by decades of intense diplomatic and non-diplomatic activities leading to the 1947 United Nations partition plan drafting the creation of separate Jewish and Palestinian states.

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