Trump, Netanyahu talk Middle East peace at UN meeting

President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed optimism on Monday that their partnership could lead to a peace accord between Israel and Palestine.

Speaking ahead of their meeting on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly gathering in New York City, Trump said he’s “working very hard” on the issue that has vexed administrations for decades.

“We're going to be discussing many things, among them a peace agreement between Palestinians and Israelis, a fantastic achievement,” Trump said. “We are giving it an absolute go. I think there's a good chance it could happen. Most people would say there is no chance it could happen. ... Israel would like to see it. Palestinians would like to see it. I can tell the Trump administration would like to see it. We're working very hard. We'll see what happens. Historically people say it can't happen. I'd say it can happen."

In brief remarks, Netanyahu said he’s eager to "seize the opportunity for peace between Israel and Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab world."

Netanyahu said that “under President Trump,” the U.S. position toward Israel at the United Nations has been “strong” and full of “clarity and conviction.” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyAmerican women can have it all State denies report ex-spokeswoman received Fox salary while in administration Trump rules out Haley joining 2020 ticket MORE has said in recent days that she’s brightened by what she views as less “Israel bashing” at the U.N.

Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been tasked with leading the administration’s efforts to bring about peace in the Middle East.


However, that effort is not expected to be the administration’s priority at meetings with Netanyahu and other world leaders at the U.N. this week.

Rather, the White House has said it will focus on more immediate problems, like the threat of a nuclearized North Korea and Iran’s “destabilizing activities in the region.”

Netanyahu said he looks forward to discussing with Trump “how we can address together what you can rightly call the terrible nuclear deal ... and Iran's growing aggression in the region."

On Oct. 15, the White House will have to notify Congress of whether it believes Iran is in compliance with the nuclear deal brokered by the Obama administration.

A reporter shouted a question to Trump about that deal on Monday and Trump responded: “You’ll be seeing very soon.”