In major speech, outgoing U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry defends the U.S. abstention of a U.N. resolution vote that demanded Israel end settlement building, saying the vote reflected U.S. values and was intended to defend the two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION STORY: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry delivered a major foreign policy speech to lay out a vision for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on Wednesday (December 28). In his speech, Kerry defended the Obama administration's decision to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution vote on Friday demanding Israel end settlement building. "Some seem to believe the U.S. friendship means the U.S. must accept any policy regardless of our own interests," said Kerry. "Friends need to tell each other the hard truths and friendships require mutual respect," he added. The U.S. failure to stop the U.N. resolution from passing sparked an angry reaction from the right-wing Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu. Kerry said the purpose of the U.N. resolution was to defend the principle of a two-state solution. "We cannot properly defend and protect Israel if we allow a viable two-state solution to be destroyed before our own eyes," Kerry said. The speech, less than a month before President Barack Obama leaves office, was expected to be the administration's last word on a decades-old dispute that Kerry had hoped to resolve during his four years as America's top diplomat. It could also be seen in Israel as another parting shot at Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has had an especially acrimonious relationship with Obama since they both took office in 2009.