Trump not committed to two-state solution for Israel-Palestine

Trump voiced his support for peace between Palestine and Israel, even if it's not in the form of a two-state solution, while Netanyahu said he looked forward to his relationship with the Trump administration.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Donald Trump hold a joint press conference at the White House on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.

Updated Feb 16, 2017

US President Donald Trump says he will work very hard to deliver what he calls "really a great peace deal" in the Middle East, adding that any future deal will need an agreement from both sides.

Trump was speaking alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a joint press conference at the White House on Wednesday, during which he also said Palestinians need to acknowledge Israel as a country, while Israel should "hold back" on settlement building in the West Bank “for a little bit."

The right-wing Israeli leader later insisted that Jewish settlements were "not the core of the conflict," and made no commitment to reduce settlement building.

TRT World's Jennifer Glasse watched that news conference from Washington DC.

But in a break from longstanding US policy, Trump indicated he was not committed to a two-state solution for Israelis and Palestinians.

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I'm very happy with the one that both parties like," he said.

"I can live with either one. I thought for a while it looked like the two-state, looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly if Bibi and if the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best," Trump said, referring to Netanyahu by his nickname.

The US president further went on to denounce what he called "unfair and one-sided" actions against Israel at the United Nations, referring to a UN resolution last month condemning Israel's construction of settlement homes in the occupied territories.

"This is one more reason why we reject unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations, which has treated Israel, in my opinion, very, very unfairly," Trump said.

Trump and Netanyahu met face-to-face for the first time since Trump's victory in the 2016 presidential election, even as Palestinians urged the White House not to abandon their goal of an independent state.

There have been no substantive peace talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians since 2014, when Israel pulled out of talks in response to the formation of a joint Palestinian government that included Hamas, which Israel considers to be a terrorist organisation.

Palestinians established the joint government after Israel failed to cease settlement building in the occupied West Bank in spite of the peace talks.

For more on the Israeli reaction to the press conference, TRT World spoke to Gregg Carlstrom in Tel Aviv.


TRTWorld, Reuters