Prime Minister Netanyahu and President Trump hold talks in Washington

By February 16 2017, 15:38 Latest News No Comments

US-ISRAEL-NETANYAHU-TRUMP-DIPLOMACYIsrael’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited U.S. President Donald Trump at the White House on Wednesday for their first official meeting.

The two leaders held a joint press conference, where President Trump underlined the “unbreakable bond with our cherished ally, Israel”.

President Trump vowed to work towards a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians but said it would require compromise on both sides, leaving it up to the parties themselves ultimately to decide on the terms of any agreement. He said: “I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like. I can live with either one”.

President Trump said that he rejected “unfair and one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations” and “other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel”.

Condemning Palestinian hate education and incitement to violence, President Trump said: “I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they’re taught from a very young age… they have to acknowledge Israel”.

Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu told President Trump that the Israel-US alliance “has been remarkably strong, but under your leadership, I’m confident it will get even stronger. I look forward to working with you to dramatically upgrade our alliance in every field, in security and technology and cyber and trade and so many others”.

Prime Minister Netanyahu reaffirmed support on building a regional peace initiative with the involvement of Arab states: “We can seize an historic opportunity because for the first time in my lifetime and for the first time in the life of my country, Arab countries in the region do not see Israel as an enemy, but increasingly as an ally”.

He set out two prerequisites for peace with the Palestinians: Palestinian recognition of Israel as a Jewish state, and Israeli security control over the area west of the Jordan River.

President Trump outlined his opposition to the Iran deal: “One of the worst deals I’ve ever seen is the Iran deal. My administration has already imposed new sanctions on Iran, and I will do more to prevent Iran from ever developing, I mean ever, a nuclear weapon”.

After the meeting, the White House confirmed in a statement that the leaders “discussed the issue of Israeli settlement construction and agreed to continue those discussions and work out an approach that is consistent with the goal of advancing peace and security”.

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