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President Trump Meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu


U.S. President Donald Trump (R) greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

In their first meeting since President Donald Trump assumed office, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel.

In their first meeting since President Donald Trump assumed office, President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu emphasized the unbreakable bonds between the United States and Israel.

At a news conference in Washington, President Trump spoke of the two countries’ shared values, “the building blocks of democracy,” that have “advanced the cause of human freedom, dignity, and peace.”

He noted that Israel faces enormous challenges, including Iran’s nuclear ambitions, and that U.S. security assistance to Israel, in the face of these challenges, is at an all-time high. President Trump rejected as unfair “one-sided actions against Israel at the United Nations…or other international forums, as well as boycotts that target Israel.” He praised Israel’s “perseverance in the face of hostility” and its “open democracy.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu also emphasized the U.S. and Israel’s “deep bond of common values and common interest...Israel has no better ally than the United States,” he said, adding, “and, I assure you, the United States has no better ally than Israel.”

President Trump promised to work with Israel and other allies in the region toward greater peace and security. He noted the new U.S. sanctions imposed on Iran over its ballistic missile program and support for terrorism, and pledged to “do more to prevent Iran from ever developing…a nuclear weapon.”

Mr. Trump made clear that his administration remains committed to working toward a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. “But it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement…As with any successful negotiation,” he said, “both sides will have to make compromises.”

Speaking to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Trump said, “I’d like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit.” Regarding the Palestinians, he said they “have to get rid of some of the hate that they are taught from a very young age. And…there’s no way a deal can be made if they’re not ready to acknowledge a very, very great and important country.”

Although helping to achieve a two-state solution that peacefully resolves the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains a goal for the United States, President Trump said he would be “happy” with any solution the Israelis and Palestinians “like best.”

Mr. Trump predicted that his initial meeting as President with Prime Minister Netanyahu “will be the first of many productive meetings.”

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