Trump calls for peace in the region, tougher line against Iran
- Author: Leroy Wright May 23, 2017,
May 23, 2017, 18:04
Trump's comments came before meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem as part of a two-day visit to Israel meant to jump-start the Israeli-Palestinian peace process and unite the Middle East in the fight against terrorism.
Touring the Middle East this week, President Donald Trump has sought to galvanize traditional U.S. allies against a common foe Iran, an opening bid to realign the region while advancing the prospect of peace that's long eluded American leaders.
At a joint media conference with Mr Abbas Mr Trump noted a Palestinian agreement with Israel could "begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East".
"I am very sorry about this decision", Chairman of the Knesset Lobby for US-Israel Relations and Zionist Union MK Dr. Nachman Shai told TPS.
Robert Danin, a former USA official with decades of experience in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, said that while both leaders are eager not to get on Trump's "bad side", the dynamics of reaching a deal remain largely unchanged.
Whenever Israelis and Palestinians have negotiated peace, going back to Camp David in 2000, there were discussions about sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem.
"We reassert to you our positions of a two-state solution along the borders of 1967, a state of Palestine with its capital in East Jerusalem, living alongside of Israel", he said, referring to Israel's occupation of the West Bank following a war against three Arab armies. "Trump said, 'That's an idea, '" Bennett recalled.
Trump and his family on Monday visited the Western Wall, the holiest site where Jews pray in Jerusalem. The prime minister, who had a frosty relationship with Trump's predecessor, leapt to his feet when the president declared Tuesday that his administration "will always stand with Israel". And that will help reconciliation between Israel and the Palestinians.
The White House struggled to answer the question.
Trump also waded into the sensitive subject of the intelligence leak to Russian officials earlier this month, saying he never mentioned Israel during his meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak May 10 in the Oval Office, where he reportedly divulged classified information on the Islamic State terror group that was provided by Israel.
"But we must seize them together".
Previous U.S. presidents have declined to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem as it would provide a powerful symbolic rejection of Palestinian - and Arab - aspirations for their own capital inside a separate state.
"President Trump is really, really serious and he thinks peace is possible".
Trump has sent mixed signals about how he will approach the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Jason Greenblatt was until a year ago the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization.
Before leaving Israel on Tuesday, Trump is to use the museum - the home of the Dead Sea Scrolls - as the backdrop for a major speech.
"We are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship", Trump said in Saudi Arabia.
"As the President of America, he feels like it's one of the things that he has to try to do", a senior White House official said. We've looked at what other people have done.