Trump, Abbas meet in Bethlehem
- Author: Salvatore Jensen May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 23:37
I am telling you - that´s what I do - they are ready to reach for peace.
Trump said we must be committed to crushing the hateful ideology that fuels such acts of terror. But I think that our process - right now, we have a very good idea what that will be.
"I also look forward to working closely with you to advance peace in our region, because you have noted so succinctly that common dangers are turning former enemies into partners", Netanyahu said. Standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he argued he never mentioned Israel, the source of the classified intelligence, according to various officials - something he has not been accused of doing.
US President Donald Trump on May 23 said that he is committed "to do everything" to achieve Israel-Palestinian peace deal but made it clear that "peace can not take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded".
Trump has struck an increasingly optimistic tone on the prospects for peace in recent days, insisting that he is sensing a shift in the region that could draw Arab countries closer to Israel and create more favorable conditions for peace.
Trump said we know both Israelis and Palestinians seek "lives of hope for their children".
Robert Danin, a former United States 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.
Trump asserted that both Israel and the Palestinians are ready to pursue a peace agreement and reiterated his "personal commitment" to helping them achieve that goal.
Still, Trump was enthusiastically received by Netanyahu, who leapt to his feet when the president declared that his administration "will always stand with Israel".
"If this thing is to get traction and to have real credibility, somebody is going to have to be the public and private face of this negotiation", said Aaron David Miller, who has advised Republican and Democratic U.S. secretaries of state on Arab-Israeli talks.
"During my travels I have seen many hopeful signs that lead me to believe that we can truly achieve a more hopeful future for people of this religion and for people of all faiths and all beliefs and frankly all over the world", Trump said, delivering remarks Monday evening alongside Netanyahu. That's despite Trump's campaign rhetoric, which signaled he would embolden right-wing forces in Israel. "Our fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements". An opportunity to seize. "From all parts of this great country, one message resounds, and that is the message of hope".
Abbas and Trump held a brief joint press conference following the meeting, before Trump left Bethlehem ahead of a planned visit to the Holocaust memorial and the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.
The moment was an abrupt interruption of an otherwise warm and smooth welcome for Trump to the Holy Land. Jason Greenblatt was until a year ago the chief legal officer at the Trump Organization.
Trump called Jerusalem a "sacred city", but did not follow through on his campaign pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city, which Trump called "the eternal capital of the Jewish people" during the campaign.
He did not specifically mention the two-state solution, long the focus of worldwide peace efforts and US Middle East diplomacy.
"Conflict can not continue forever", he said.