by WorldTribune Staff, January 23, 2017
Peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) will require direct talks between the two parties, U.S. President Donald Trump told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Jan. 22.
The two leaders spoke by phone in their first conversation since Trump was sworn in on Jan. 20. Trump invited Netanyahu for a meeting in Washington in February, the White House said in a statement.
The White House statement indicated that Trump and Netanyahu “discussed ways to advance and strengthen the U.S.-Israel special relationship, and security and stability in the Middle East.”
“The president emphasized that peace between Israel and the Palestinians can only be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Israel to make progress towards that goal,” the statement said.
Trump and Netanyahu also “agreed to continue to closely consult on a range of regional issues, including addressing the threats posed by Iran.”
The president “affirmed his unprecedented commitment to Israel’s security and stressed that countering ISIL and other radical Islamic terrorist groups will be a priority for his administration,” the statement said.
Following his election in November, Trump had told The Wall Street Journal that brokering peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be “the ultimate deal. As a deal maker, I’d like to do…the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”
Meanwhile, White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters on Jan. 22 that the Trump administration had begun deliberations on moving the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but were still “at the very beginning stages of even discussing this subject.”