Trump Visits Israel in Search of Revived Peace Process

Nick Mcbride
May 23, 2017

US President Donald Trump called on Israelis and Palestinians to make compromises that could lead to peace as he wrapped up a visit with a speech in Jerusalem on Tuesday.

Israel and the Palestinians have not held direct talks for more than three years and Mr Trump acknowledged it was "one of the toughest deals of all". I know you've heard it before. "I make this promise to you: My Administration will always stand with Israel", he promised.

He is on a nine-day trip through the Middle East and Europe that ends on Saturday after visits to the Vatican, Brussels and Sicily.The White House has downplayed the prospects of a breakthrough on jumpstarting the Middle East peace process but Trump has been bullish on the potential for peace during his presidency."He is our cross (to bear)" he said, holding his arms wide to imitate a crucifixion.

Mr. Trump then spent two days in Israel, including meeting earlier Tuesday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. But I think that our process - right now, we have a very good idea what that will be.

"A friendship built on our shared love of freedom, our shared belief in human dignity and our shared hope in Israel at lasting peace".

He became the first sitting United States president to visit the site in the Israeli-annexed east of the city.

Many Israelis remarked that the president's visit implicitly affirmed Israel's claim to the site, though Trump has made no public statement to that effect. "Making peace, however, will not be easy". I want you to know how much we appreciate your bold decision to act against the use of chemical weapons in Syria.

But both Netanyahu and Abbas face domestic political challenges.

Netanyahu was only too happy to welcome Trump's utterances against Iran and its nuclear programme which the Israeli leader has said is an existential threat to his country. When the prime minister of Israel said over and over again no pre-conditions.

Trump's speech on Tuesday, delivered at Israel's museum to the Jewish state's culture and history, also stood to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Israel and hold up Judaism's historical ties to the country. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over territory occupied in 1967, including east Jerusalem.

Their talks come with hundreds of Palestinians in Israeli jails on hunger strike since April 17, and activists were hoping to display banners in Bethlehem to drawn Trump's attention to it. "Everyone says they want peace".

He has appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser on brokering an agreement, while Jason Greenblatt, formerly a lawyer in Trump's real estate group, has taken the day-to-day role of liaising with officials and leaders in the region on the nitty-gritty contours of any solution. The Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future independent state.

The White House said Trump was being updated on the attacks in Manchester, England, by his national security team. "And I'm not disputing that it did", he said.

On Monday, he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Today, worshippers from around the world tuck notes and prayers between the stones, as Trump - paying the first visit by a sitting US president - did when he stood silently for several moments before it Monday, wearing a Jewish skullcap as a token of respect. The U.S. considers the status of Jerusalem unresolved and subject to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. After Israel and the Palestinian territories, Trump will head to the Vatican along with Brussels and Italy for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G7 meetings.

"And if you look at King Salman and Saudi Arabia and others that I was with the UAE and Bahrain and Kuwait and so many others, it was something".

Other reports by VgToday

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