In an interview with right-wing Israeli daily Israel Hayom, US President Donald Trump said the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital was a highlight of his first year in office and delivered ambiguous statements regarding future peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
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In an interview with the Israeli right-wing daily Israel Hayom published on Sunday, US President Donald Trump said the Palestinians “aren’t willing” to reach a peace agreement, but added that Israel might not be ready for it either.
“Right now the Palestinians aren’t willing to make peace, they’re not,” Trump said when asked about the long-anticipated revelation of his administration’s Middle East peace plan. “Regarding Israel, I’m not sure that it’s ready to make peace either so we’ll need to wait and see what happens.”
Trump also said the Israeli settlements in the West Bank “complicate” matters, stating that Israel “needs to act with caution on the topic of settlements.” Just two weeks ago, Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told EU ambassadors that the president does not consider Israeli settlements to be an obstacle to peace.
In excerpts of the interview published on Friday, Trump was quoted as calling his recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital “a very big point” of his first year in office.
“I said that I would like to be able to do it in the first year. I can understand why many other presidents bailed on their promise because tremendous pressure was put on them not to do it,” Trump said, adding that “the lobbying against it was tremendous.”
When asked about the meaning of his statement in Davos that the Jerusalem issue had been taken “off the table,” Trump said, “By taking Jerusalem off the table I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and as for specific boundaries would support what both sides agreed to.”
The newspaper, owned by right-wing Jewish-American casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, has consistently presented a pro-Netanyahu and pro-Trump position.