President Donald Trump said Wednesday he’d prefer to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by creating two separate states, re-aligning himself with the traditional U.S. position on an eventual peace deal.
Trump also said his administration would produce its long-awaited attempt at a new Mideast peace plan within about four months.
“I like two-state solution,” Trump said Wednesday at a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations General Assembly.
Trump said shortly after taking office that he’d be fine with whatever the two sides agreed to, appearing to abandon the longstanding U.S. position that the Palestinians should have their own nation. “I like the one that both parties like,” he said in a news conference with Netanyahu at the time.
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Many officials in Netanyahu’s government oppose a Palestinian state, and the prime minister himself has expressed skepticism that a Palestinian nation adjoining Israel would be peaceful. The Palestinians called on Trump to reassert U.S. support for their own state.
On Wednesday, Netanyahu thanked Trump for moving the U.S. embassy to Israel Jerusalem, a decision that outraged Palestinians and led them to cut off peace talks.
Trump called the embassy’s location “the primary ingredient as to why deals couldn’t get done. That meant everything and now that’s off the table.
“Now that will also mean that Israel will have to do something that will be good for the other side,” he said. “That’s a big chip that they got."
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