Trump open to one-state or two-state solution in Middle East

President Trump said Wednesday that he could support either a one-state or two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a walk back from decades of American policy in the region.

“I’m looking at two-state, one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. … I can live with either one,” Trump said during a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I thought for a while the two-state [solution] looked to be the easier of the two, but honestly, if Bibi and the Palestinians, if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

Past administrations pushed for two states in the Middle East, one for each people, as a way to end the decades of turmoil in the region.  

{mosads}Trump’s comments now call into question the new administration’s commitment to that effort.

Trump also asked Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements for a little bit” so that the parties can “work something out.” Israeli settlement-building in disputed territory is a major dispute between the Israelis and Palestinians. 

Netanyahu, meanwhile, decried the Palestinians for ignoring his “two prerequisites for peace” — recognition of Israel and Israel’s security needs.

He said that it’s necessary for Israel to maintain the “security control” in the area west of the Jordan River.

“If we don’t, we know what will happen,” he said.

“Otherwise we will get another radical Islamic terrorist state in the Palestinian areas exploding the peace, exploding the Middle East.”

While he cast doubt on the Palestinian commitment to a broader peace, Netanyahu said he looks forward to working with Trump and that he thinks “if we work together, we have a shot” at a peace agreement.

— This report was updated at 12:43 p.m.


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