President Barack Obama on Wednesday expressed pessimism over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict being resolved during his tenure.
Speaking during a visit to Argentina and quoted by The Associated Press, Obama said the conflict has been going for 60 years and would not be resolved in the next nine months.
The comments come as he was asked at a town hall with young Argentinians whether it's possible to create a "bi-national state" containing leadership from both sides, according to AP.
Obama replied and said he doesn't believe a "one-state solution" or divided government would be stable because there is so much distrust between the Jewish people and Palestinians, and stressed that he believes the only way to resolve the issue is to have a two-state solution.
Israelis and Palestinians both have legitimate fears, but when it comes to making peace, "we can't do it for them", he added, according to AP.
The comments by Obama reinforce what officials in his administration said several months ago, when they admitted that reaching the two-state solution during Obama's time in office is unlikely. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently made similar comments.
At the same time, the United States has repeatedly stated that it believes that in the long term, the “two-state solution” is the only way to resolve the conflict.
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has made comments to this effect, saying recently that, if elected, she would support Israel but would insist on the “two-state solution” in order to bring an end to the conflict.
And Vice President Joe Biden, in his address to the AIPAC Policy Conference this past week, admitted that his impression from a recent Middle East visit is that the prospects for peace are not good at the moment, but reiterated that he believes that the “two-state solution” is the only one that would bring peace.