President Trump said that the Palestinians must “stop the hate” taught “at a very young age, in the school room” for peace to have a chance. He is also asking Prime Minister Netanyahu to “hold back” on building settlements for a bit.
In a joint press conference, President Trump responded to a question about his position on the expansion of Jewish communities in Yesha, saying that a “two state looked like it will be the easier of the two,” but says that if Israel and the Palestinians find an alternative that they like better, he’ll support them.
“I see two states, I see one state, I see what state is good with Bibi,” using a nickname for Netanyahu.
Trump also says that he’d like to see the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but noted that “we’re looking at it with great care.”
Netanyahu began his remarks urging Mr. Trump to “let us seize this moment” to seek new avenues of peace in the Middle East. He also said he believes reversing the “rising tide of radical Islam” is possible with President Trump leading the United States.
Trump opened the news conference by saying that the two parties themselves “must directly negotiate such an agreement.”
Netanyahu added, “Both sides.”
President Trump reaffirmed the United States’ “unbreakable bond” between the two countries. He called Israel a symbol of resilience. He says Israel faces enormous security challenges and is calling the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.”
Earlier in the day, U.N. chief António Guterres told reporters while visiting Cairo that there is no “plan B” for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the international community must do everything it can to bring about a two-state solution.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, standing next to Guterres, did not comment on the issue.
The two-state solution has wide international backing and has been a cornerstone of American diplomacy in the Middle East for more than two decades.
The differences between Prime Minister Netanyahu’s visit to President Trump and those of former President Barack Obama were noticeable. Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are staying at the Blair House, the official White House guest house; and as they arrived at the White House, they were greeted by Trump and his wife, Melania, at the south entrance.
The leaders shook hands and embraced as they entered the White House. The leaders headed straight into a news conference with journalists from U.S. and Israeli media.
Afterward, they were to meet in the Oval Office before continuing their talks over lunch.
Updated Wednesday, February 15, 2017 at 2:00 pm Press Conference