Secretary of State John Kerry referred to the Palestinian Authority as a country while speaking last week at the United Nations.
Talking to journalists last Thursday, Kerry said: “It’s my hope that that will be able to happen as procedures are put in place by both countries in order to empower that.”
The comments sparked speculation that the administration was changing its foreign-policy views on Israel. A spokesman for the State Department dismissed the speculation, explaining that Kerry simply misspoke. When asked by a journalist to clarify the comment, Kerry responded: “Did I say that?”
Palestinian statehood has become a major issue at the U.N. in recent years. When the question came up for a vote in the General Assembly last November, the U.S. was one of only a handful of countries that voted against giving Palestine “non-member observer state” status.