Trump, Netanyahu discuss Palestinian issue, Iranian presence in Syria

In a Monday press briefing following his meeting with US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the leaders have yet to discuss a timetable for a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinians. During their meeting, the two leaders discussed Iran, its presence in Syria as well as other regional security issues of mutual interest.
Netanyahu and Trump meet in Washington Photo Credit: Haim Katz/GPO

After his meeting with US President Donald Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Monday that the leaders did not discuss a timetable for a peace plan with the Palestinians. Netanyahu clarified that Israel would not be able to carry out negotiations if the Palestinians weren’t willing “to come to the table.”

Briefing Israeli reporters in Washington, Netanyahu said the two leaders addressed the Palestinian issue as part of their discussions on regional security matters. Netanyahu explained to the president that Israel does not wish to control the Palestinians, but only to protect itself. “This requires control of territory,” the prime minister explained. “The IDF and Israeli security forces are getting the job done.”

The prime minister said he emphasized that he would not allow any evacuated territories to be seized by terrorist entities. In a statement after the meeting, the White House said Trump had “emphasized his commitment to achieving a lasting peace deal between Israelis and Palestinians.”

According to Netanyahu, during their meeting, the leaders focused a great deal on Iran, the nuclear deal and the situation in Syria. Addressing the nuclear deal, the prime minister explained his stance that the deal must either be amended or completely dissolved.

Trump and Netanyahu also agreed about the dangers posed by Iran’s continued presence in Syria and the region. Netanyahu explained that he and Trump “see eye to eye” on this issue and the threat it poses.

Netanyahu and Trump met on Monday afternoon for their fifth meeting since the latter took office in January 2017. In an opening speech before the bilateral meeting, Netanyahu discussed the Iranian threat that has reached Israel’s border. “We have to stop this country that chants ‘death to Israel, death to America,’” he said. “Iran must be stopped.”

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