US President Donald Trump has appeared to rupture two decades of US commitment to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process by saying he is unconcerned whether any eventual deal involves the creation of a Palestinian state or a single state.
“So I’m looking at two states and one state,” Trump said at a joint press conference with the visiting Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu. “And I like the one that both parties like. I’m very happy with the one that both parties like.”
Trump’s comments dismantled one of the key pillars of the US-led peace efforts since before the signing of the Oslo accords, which envisioned the creation of a Palestinian state alongside the Jewish one.
“The United States will encourage peace and really a great peace deal,” the US president said. “We will be working on it very, very diligently. But it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement.
“To be honest, if Bibi [Netanyahu] and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy – I’m happy with the one they like the best.”
Asked about settlement building at the press conference, Trump addressed Netanyahu and said: “I would like to see you hold back for a little bit.”
Trump also addressed questions about moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. “As far as the embassy moving to Jerusalem, I’d love to see that happen,” he said.
“And we’re looking at it very, very strongly. We’re looking at it with a great care, a great care, believe me. And we’ll see what happens.”Thursday, February 16, 2017