Trump Israel Trip: Two-State Solution Conspicuously Absent
- Author: Leroy Wright May 24, 2017,
May 24, 2017, 22:15
The president was greeted in the West Bank by streets lined with US and Palestinian flags joined on lampposts, as well as signs with the faces of Trump and Abbas, saying, "The City of Peace Welcomes the Man of Peace".
The U.S. president also pledged his support for renewed Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations.
"President Abbas assures me he is ready to work towards that goal in good faith, and Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu has promised the same". Standing with Trump after their talk in Abbas' presidential residence, Abbas said that Palestinians "are committed to working with you to reach a historic peace deal between us and Israel".
U.S. President Donald Trump strove to warm ties with the Middle East during his first overseas trip since taking office, but the lack of detail in his plans for peace have left some wondering whether he would only add to turmoil in the region.
Speaking before Trump, Abbas said that the Palestinians "fundamental problem is with occupation and settlements and the failure of Israel to recognise the state of Palestine as we recognise it".
"There are many things that can happen now that could never have happened before", Trump said during the visit.
"In so doing we will all enjoy a safer and brighter future and a safer and brighter world", he said after holding talks with the Palestinian president in Bethlehem.
A senior Palestinian official declined to comment if Abbas will meet the prime minister without preconditions.
It is the first time a sitting USA president has visited and prayed at the site.
He said that his meetings earlier in the day with Abbas led him to believe that "the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace". Israel considers Jerusalem as its capital, although the worldwide community does not recognize it as such and foreign embassies are located in Tel Aviv.
(R-L) US First Lady Melania Trump, US President Donald Trump, opposition leader Isaac Herzog and his wife Michal Herzog at the Israel Museum, Jerusalem.
And indeed, the settlement issue, which dominated Israeli-American relations under President Obama, was totally absent from Trump's visit to Israel.
Trump visited Israel's Yad Vashem Holocaust remembrance center Tuesday for a wreath-laying ceremony, and enthusiastically pledged he would "never forget" when signing the guestbook at the site.
During his time in the region, part of a nine-day foreign trip that has taken in Saudi Arabia and will be followed by the Vatican, Italy and Belgium, Trump spent barely an hour with the Palestinians.
Dershowitz told the "Fox & Friends" hosts: "If President Trump can come home with that deal, he'll be able to say 'I accomplished more in 130 days than the previous four presidents have accomplished'".