President Donald Trump dropped US insistence on a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a longstanding bedrock of the Middle East policy, even as he urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to curb settlement construction.
In the first face-to-face meeting between the two leaders since Trump’s victory, the President backed away from a US commitment to eventual creation of a Palestinian state. “I’m looking at two states and one state, and I like the one both parties like,” Trump told a joint news conference with Netanyahu. “I can live with either one.”
Trump vowed to work toward a peace deal between Israel and Palestinians but said it would require compromise on both sides and up to the parties themselves ultimately to reach the terms of any agreement. But he offered no new prescription for achieving an accord that has eluded so many of his predecessors.
Trump told Netanyahu: “I’d like to see you pull back on settlements for a little bit.” The right-wing Israeli leader insisted that Jewish settlements were “not the core of the conflict” and made no commitment to reduce settlement building.