Trump charts new Mideast course

Maybe no sep­a­rate Pales­tine

Cape Breton Post - - CLASSIFIEDS/WORLD -

Chart­ing a strik­ing new course for the Mid­dle East, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump on Wed­nes­day with­held clear sup­port for an in­de­pen­dent Pales­tine and de­clared he could en­dorse a one-na­tion so­lu­tion to the long and deep dis­pute be­tween Pales­tini­ans and Is­rael.

The Amer­i­can pres­i­dent, sig­nalling a new era of comity be­tween the U.S. and Is­rael af­ter rocky re­la­tions un­der Pres­i­dent Barack Obama, said he was more in­ter­ested in an agree­ment that leads to peace than in any par­tic­u­lar path to get there. Stand­ing be­side Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu, Trump broke not only with re­cent U.S. pres­i­dents but also dis­tanced the United States from the pre­vail­ing po­si­tion of much of the world.

While Trump urged Ne­tanyahu to “hold off” on Jewish set­tle­ment con­struc­tion in ter­ri­tory the Pales­tini­ans claim for their fu­ture state, he of­fered un­wa­ver­ing sup­port for Is­rael, a pledge he ap­peared to sub­stan­ti­ate with his vague com­ments about the shape of any agree­ment.

While it once ap­peared that a two-state so­lu­tion was the “eas­ier of the two” op­tions for the Pales­tini­ans and Is­rael, Trump said he’d be open to al­ter­na­tives. “I’m look­ing at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” he told re­porters. “I can live with ei­ther one.”

The United States has for­mally backed the two-state so­lu­tion as of­fi­cial pol­icy since 2002, when Pres­i­dent Ge­orge W. Bush said in the White House Rose Gar­den that his vi­sion was “two states, liv­ing side by side in peace and se­cu­rity.”

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump es­corts Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu into the White House in Wash­ing­ton, Wed­nes­day.

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