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.
The Trump administration has in the past said it would support a two-state solution if both sides agreed to it.
Trump, in a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the United Nations, also said he wanted 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 ... That’s my feeling,” said Trump, who is attending the annual UN gathering of world leaders.
Netanyahu has said that any future Palestinian state must be demilitarized and must recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people - conditions that Palestinians say show he is not sincere about peacemaking.
The United States’ Arab allies are strong proponents of a two state solution.
“I really believe something will happen. They say it’s the toughest of all deals,” Trump said.
He added that Israel will have to do something good for the other side without elaborating.
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.
“It is a dream of mine to get that done prior to the end of my first term,” Trump said of an agreement on the conflict.
Jerusalem is one of the major issues in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Both sides claim it as a capital.
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.
The Palestinians want to establish a state in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. Israel captured those territories in the 1967 Middle East war and annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognized internationally. It regards all of the city as its eternal and indivisible capital.
Macron says unilateral action on Mideast peace won’t solve crisis
On the other hand, trampling on the Palestinians and pushing unilateral initiatives will not resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, French President Emmanuel Macron said on Tuesday, taking a swipe at US counterpart Donald Trump’s policy on the issue.
“What can resolve the crisis between Israel and Palestine? Not unilateral initiatives, nor trampling on the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to legitimate peace nor underestimating Israel’s fair right to security.”
“There is no credible alternative to the two-state solution living side by side in peace and security with Jerusalem as capital.”
Doubts have mounted over whether Trump’s administration can secure what he has called the “ultimate deal” since December, when the US president reversed decades of American policy and 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 the US president’s son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner.
The Trump administration has said it would support a two-state solution if the two sides agree.
The United States has also cut off aid to the Palestinians and to UNRWA- the UN agency for Palestinian refugees - and has ordered the Palestine Liberation Organization’s office in Washington shut, further angering Palestinian leaders.
Macron said Paris had unwavering friendship toward Israel, but called on Israel to end policies that undermined the possibility of a peace agreement.
“Continuing this path would be a mistake,” he said.
French and European officials acknowledge they have little room to maneuver on the Middle East peace process.
However, in talks with Trump, Macron on Monday told the US president that his policy of putting all the pressure on the Palestinians was not tenable and a solution had to be found, a French presidential source said.
The source said Trump had said he agreed that there needed to be progress and he would act quickly, the source said.
Macron’s comments were echoed by Jordan’s King Abdullah.
“There is no such thing as a unilateral agreement; it takes at least two parties to make an agreement. Helping the parties achieve that agreement, and work together to build a new future, deserves the strong, steady support of all our world,” the king said.