Trump on Israeli-Palestinian conflict: ‘I like two-state solution’
President Donald Trump voiced support on Wednesday for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, saying he believes a two-state solution “works best.”
“I like two-state solution. I like two-state solution” Trump said. “That’s what I think works best. I don’t even have to speak to anybody, that’s my feeling.”
Trump broke with precedent early in his presidency by backing off the US’s firm support for a two-state solution, indicating that he was ambivalent about whether the conflict should be solved by a one- or two-state solution. The White House declined to comment on Wednesday when pressed for clarification about the US’s position.
But hours later, when pressed about the change at a news conference, the President said that while he believed “the two-state will happen,” he reverted to his prior stance.
“If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that’s OK with me. If they want two-state, that’s OK with me. I’m happy if they’re happy,” he said.
Trump also said Wednesday he expects his administration will release its Israeli-Palestinian peace plan proposal in the next two to four months.
“I really believe something will happen. They say it’s the toughest of deals,” Trump said, taking questions alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “It is a dream of mine to be able to get that done prior to the end of my first term.”
“I want to have a plan … that is solid, understood by both sides, really semi-agreed to by both sides before we start a negotiation. I would say over the next two to three to four months that would be the time that I would like to release the plan,” Trump said, when pressed for a time frame.
Trump said he believes Palestinian officials, who have refused to speak with US counterparts since the US announced it was recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, will return to the table.
Trump also repeated his insistence that his decision to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem removed a major stumbling block to negotiations, even though his own advisers have insisted the move did not prejudge the boundaries of Jerusalem or a future Palestinian state.
But Trump signaled the move would require Israel to “do something that will be good for the other side.”
“I took probably the biggest chip off the table,” Trump said. “Deals have to be good for both parties … Israel got the first chip and it’s a big one.”