'Peace is a choice,' Trump says during appearance with Palestinian leader

26 May, 2017, 08:36 | Author: Kristi Walker

But U.S. experts said that, despite Trump's push, a full Israeli-Palestinian peace plan is highly unlikely any time soon, though the two sides could take baby steps toward peace, with the Trump administration as an intermediary.

"Both sides will face tough decisions". Let me say the Israelis would love to have peace.

What's more, peace advocates across ethnic and ideological lines have struggled to come up with ways any American president, of any political persuasion, can shift growing skepticism among both Israelis and Palestinians as to whether a two-state solution is achievable. He'll close his ambitious first foreign trip at a pair of summits in Brussels and Sicily, where his reception from European leaders may be less effusive than his welcome in Israel and Saudi Arabia, his opening stop on the trip.

In introductory remarks, Netanyahu voiced hope that Trump's efforts would help forge peace with Arab states, which, he said, shared with Israel a common concern about Iran.

"I like you too", Trump said when the audience quieted.

"The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out from our society forever", said Trump, speaking after a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"President Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith, and Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu has promised the same".

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: Words can never describe the bottomless depths of that evil or the scope of the anguish and destruction.

Those comments echo statements made the day before in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Abbas had sought to convince the unpredictable US President to remain committed to an independent Palestinian state.

Trump arrived in Bethlehem by motorcade, crossing a checkpoint at Israel's controversial separation wall, and was greeted by Abbas and other dignitaries outside the city's presidential palace.

"Our fundamental problem is with the occupation and settlements, and failure of Israel to recognize the state of Palestine in the same way we recognize it, which undermines the realization of the two-state solution".

KEITH: He was really there to talk about peace.

"Bilateral relations will be much better under Trump because he has a similar worldview as Netanyahu", Phillips said. Nor did he mention the Palestinian state that the United States and Israel officially support establishing there, but which Netanyahu has ceased referring to.

Clashes broke out near a checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah involving several hundred stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers who responded with rubber bullets and tear gas, leaving at least one wounded. It also urges a "just settlement" of the Palestinian refugee problem.

He has since said the move is still being looked at.

Obama "glossed over Israel's security needs and pressed (Israel) to make concessions to the Palestinians, he said".

Most of the major streets in the Old City of Jerusalem were shut down for the visit, preventing storeowners from opening their businesses and tourists from visiting the sites. No Israeli politicians or officials accompanied the family. With a lot of help from his team, Trump's speeches and appearances in Israel were quite subtle.

Palestinians and Arabs are opposed to the move, which the worldwide community has warned may ignite new tensions.



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