Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump Journeys To 'Palestine' For Talks With Mahmoud Abbas

Trump Journeys To 'Palestine' For Talks With Mahmoud Abbas

The U.S. president arrived in Israel from Saudi Arabia where he met with leaders of the Gulf states, Arab and Muslim countries, in his first foreign trip since taking office officially in January.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed those behind the Manchester attack as "losers" and reiterated his call to drive out terrorists. The two men began their respective statements with condemnations of the apparent suicide bombing in Manchester the night before.

"I make this promise to you: My administration will always stand with Israel", he said. "We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single unified voice", he said.

Having insisted that he was capable of striking the "ultimate deal" for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, Trump made no mention of a two-state solution, which has always been considered internationally as the preferred solution but which Israel's right-wing government has publicly begun to shy away from. "Peace is a choice we can make each day and the United States is here to help make that dream possible for young Jewish, Muslim and Christian children across the region".

While Israel regards all of Jerusalem as its "eternal and indivisible" capital, the Palestinians want the east of the city, which Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war, as the capital of their future state.

"In this spirit of hope, we come to Bethlehem to ask for a more peaceful, safe and tolerant world for all of us", Trump stated.

President Donald Trump used his centerpiece Holy Land speech on Tuesday to reaffirm his commitment to peace between Israelis and Palestinians, but he offered no new details on how to achieve a goal that has eluded USA leaders for decades.

Trump has spoken of reviving long-stalled peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians, but few specifics have emerged of how he intends to do so. "President Abbas assures me he is ready to work toward that goal in good faith, and Prime Minister Netanyahu has promised the same".

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But in his public remarks, Trump steered clear of any such language, and did not mention what has been the goal of US diplomacy for two decades: a state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state co-existing side-by-side.

"Once again we reassert to you our positions", he continued: "accepting the two-state solution along the borders of 1967, a state of Palestine with a capital in East Jerusalem alongside Israel... and resolving longstanding issues based on worldwide law and agreements... in accordance with Arab peace initiative".

Following a private meeting with Abbas, Trump was expected to make remarks about the deadly explosion in Manchester, England.

Trump then shook hands with a short receiving line of religious leaders and other dignitaries.

Trump says the attack preyed on "innocent children".

After the wreath-laying ceremony, Trump will deliver an address at the Israel Museum to the Israeli people. Trump has similar views on the issue as he has repeatedly criticized the deal calling it "the worst deal ever negotiated". "I've heard is one of the toughest deals of all", he said. "I demand from the Israeli government to meet these humane, legitimate demands".

"President Trump is really, really serious and he thinks peace is possible".

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