The United States should let Israelis and Palestinians mutually negotiate a peace agreement without imposing its will on the two sides, Mitt Romney said in a television interview that aired on Monday.
"The Palestinians need to recognize that the course to the two-state solution is not through the United Nations or through the United States or through anyone else, but through a face-to-face series of negotiations with the Israelis," Romney said on Fox News' On The Record With Greta Van Susteren.
However, he added, "This is not something that we will impose from America. This is instead something we will encourage and facilitate, but it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to reach their own agreement and to find the two-state solution that we and our allies in Israel seek."
Romney's comments came after he angered Palestinians during his visit to Israel. The Republican presidential candidate appeared to connect Israeli culture with economic progress and gross domestic product and made a comparison to less prosperous areas controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul said that the former Massachusetts governor's comments were "grossly mischaracterized."
During the Fox interview, Romney also was asked about how to combat American skepticism about whether Iran truly can achieve a nuclear capability, given the criticism that the Bush administration suffered for going to war after mistakenly concluding that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction.
"I don’t imagine you’re ever 100 percent certain," Romney said. "But you do know that there are three parts that have to come together for Iran to have a nuclear capability of a military nature. One is sufficient enriched material that they could create bombs or a bomb; second is a weaponization system; and third, if the vehicle were going to be launched by rocket would be the kind of rocket that would take it someplace that could do the greatest damage. So the intelligence community has to look at all three of those sources, and give us the best information possible."
Fox News will air a second interview segment with Romney on Tuesday.