Trump says Netanyahu, Abbas assured him they are ready for peace

The current Trump administration has made the same pledge, both before President Donald Trump's current visit to the region and during the visit itself.

President Obama had frosty relations with the Bahraini rulers because of the mass incarceration of protesters and use of torture when the security forces crushed democratic protests in 2011.

The 2008 offer by the government of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert included 93% of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and a Palestinian state with its capital in eastern Jerusalem.

The status of Jerusalem is the subject of a longstanding USA policy debate - and it showed during Trump's trip.

For the past five years, I have been urging the establishment of a defense pact between Israel and the Arab states that are as fearful as it is of Iran's imperialistic policies.

"This trip that was doomed to succeed", Ross says.

Indeed, it is far more probable that Mr. Trump's efforts to reignite dialogue between the Israeli and Palestinian leadership will be a one-off, an ersatz display of statesmanship that fleetingly showcases Mr. Trump's supposed deal-making skills, but that is backed by no strategy or resolve to achieve anything tangible. So we're working on it and I will tell you, a big difference over the previous year, money is actually starting to pour into North Atlantic Treaty Organisation from countries that would not have been doing what they're doing now had I not been elected, I can tell you that.

Whether bowing his head to receive the King Abdulaziz al Saud Collar from Saudi Arabian King Salman, gathering around the "glowing orb" at the Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology in Riyadh or standing at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Trump played the leader of a superpower.

"The Saudi part of the trip suggested a mending of the fences, that, in the aftermath of Obama, needed to be mended", says Ross, who served under every president from Ronald Reagan to Obama.

In an April 2016 interview, Obama advised the Saudis to "share the neighborhood" with Iran.

President Donald Trump on Saturday said his maiden first trip overseas was a "home run" and he vowed to overcome the threat of terrorism, concluding a grueling five-stop sprint that ended with the promise of an imminent decision on the much-discussed Paris climate accord.

"It is time to live together in harmony, security and stability". Relying on one of his preferred insults, Trump said he would call the perpetrators "losers, because that's what they are". Iran, he said, has "fuelled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror" for decades, and left his audience in no doubt that he favoured regime change.

It will encourage Iran to take precautions and assume that a longterm understanding with the U.S. and the Sunni states is becoming less and less feasible. Look at the language Trump used in talking about Iran. It is far from certain that the Trump administration has sufficient control of the media narrative to be able to engineer the collapse of the arrangement that Mr Obama, with the support of United States allies and Russian Federation and China, put so much effort into.

Will that translate into regional cooperation on a resolution of the ancient Israeli/Palestinian rift? Trump and his Saudi host in particular, singled out Iran as the sole sponsor of Islamist terrorism. He has bought into a partisan Arab narrative whose theme is an inevitable (and ultimately military) conflict between Iran and the Arab world, and has all but promised that the United States would fight on the Arab side in that putative war. "They could do it now to keep the USA engaged in the region", Ross says.

The Sunni Saudi-Shiite Iranian rivalry now manifests itself in both major conflicts in the Middle East - Yemen and Syria - and furthering the divide will only increase conflict.

  • Leroy Wright