Sri Lanka’s president Ranil Wickremesinghe “urged a fresh approach” to solving the Israel-Palestine conflict and aired the idea of “four-state solution involving Israel, Palestine, Gaza, and Lebanon,” in public remarks last week.
Speaking at an event held by a think tank that he founded, the Geopolitical Cartographer, Wickremesinghe first told the audience that he had concerns over whether the United States could “multiple international issues simultaneously”.
“Can the US manage Ukraine, Taiwan and the Middle East, Gaza?” questioned Wickremesinghe. “I don’t think (sic). If you are going to have two aircraft carrier groups in the Mediterranean, that’s serious. Can you manage it? It’s going to be difficult because many issues are going rise.”
He stated that “alternative solutions should be explored, including the possibility of a four-state solution involving Israel, Palestine, Gaza, and Lebanon.”
“It’s not that I support Hamas or Hezbollah,” added Wickremesinghe. “I don’t.”
“But we must see where it goes from here. I do not think Israel and the US can get together. What we have is Israel functioning independently, Gaza that is destroyed and you have Palestine that is half functioning, and Lebanon that is also half functioning. If you are going for a solution, it has to be four states in it. Not two. You also have to think of Syria. So going along the old route we won’t find solutions, we have to think anew.”
The Sri Lankan president did not elaborate further on what a proposed “four-state solution” would entail.
See an official release from the President’s Media Division on the remarks here.
Earlier in the week, after Sri Lanka’s foreign affairs ministry called for a ceasefire as violence escalated in Israel and Palestine, Wickremesinghe came out and condemned the Hamas assault. He did however note that he was “reaffirming Sri Lanka’s longstanding support for the two-state concept of Israel and Palestine”.