Trump to Netanyahu: Two-state solution will work best

The US President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he wanted a two-state solution to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the clearest expression yet of his administration’s support for such an outcome, news wires reported. Meeting with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu at the UN General Assembly Trump pledged to unveil a peace plan in the next two to three months.

“I like a two-state solution. That’s what I think works best,” he stated.

Netanyahu said he was “not surprised” at the US president’s preference for a two-state peace solution, but pointed out that any future Palestinian state must be demilitarized and must recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people.

Later on Wednesday Trump said at a news conference in New York he would be open to a one-state solution if that was the preference of the parties themselves, a position he had previously stated.

“If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that’s OK with me. If they want two states, that’s OK with me,” he said. “I’m happy if they’re happy.”

Doubts have mounted over whether Trump’s administration can secure what he has called the “ultimate deal” since December, when the US president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and then moved the US Embassy there. Trump’s move outraged the Palestinians, who have since boycotted Washington’s peace efforts, led by Trump’s son-in-law and adviser, Jared Kushner.

Palestinian foreign minister Riyad al-Maliki said Trump’s broad commitment to a two-state solution was not enough. “He has to spell it clearly... the two states (based on 67 borders), that East Jerusalem is an occupied territory. These (issues) are very important for us in order us to really move forward,” Maliki said in New York after meeting representatives of dozens of countries on the sidelines of the annual gathering of world leaders. US officials did not attend that meeting. Asked if he would engage with the US when it released its peace plan, Maliki said: “Not at all.” “As long as he is sticking to his decisions about Jerusalem, about settlements and about moving the embassy, there is no way,” he said.

 

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