WASHINGTON, President Donald Trump on Thursday predicted that his administration would be able to complete a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.
During a conference call with Jewish faith leaders and rabbis to mark Rosh Hashanah, Trump was asked if the Jewish community should be optimistic that he could help bring about a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
“I think the answer to that is a very strong yes, you should be,” Trump replied. ” … If you look at Israel and the Palestinians, it’s always top of everybody’s list in terms of levels of difficulty. But we’re going to be able to get it done.” Trump defended his decision to relocate the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“If you go back and look at your negotiations with the Palestinians over the years, the first thing was Jerusalem and moving the embassy to Jerusalem, thereby making it the capital,” he said. “And I will tell you, we’ve taken that off the table.” Trump said the move is “actually going to help a lot in making a deal, as we say, with the Palestinians. Now, most people think just the opposite. They said, ‘Oh, you did a mistake.’ Well, I disagree. So I think that we have a very good chance of doing it.” Trump also defended his administration’s recent decision to cancel all US funding of the UN aid program for Palestinian refugees.
“The United States was paying them tremendous amounts of money, and I’d say, ‘You’ll get money, but we’re not paying you until we make a deal. If we don’t make a deal, we’re not paying.’ And that’s going to have a little impact,” he said.
Commenting on his decision to withdraw the US from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, Trump said the move has “had a tremendously positive impact on, I think really, world security, because Iran is no longer the same country.” It was not a question of how big and strong Iran was, but “a question of when will they take over the entire Middle East, and that probably includes Israel, in the mind of a lot of people,” Trump said.
“And if you look at them (Iran) today, they’re not looking at the Mediterranean any longer,” he said. “They’re not looking at places that they were going to routinely take over. And I think Israel feels a lot safer than they’ve felt in many, many years.” Iran is fighting for its own survival with demonstrations in every city, he said.
“I would imagine that they’ll be calling in the not-too-distant future to try and make a deal,” Trump said. “If we can make a real deal, we’ll do it. If they don’t call, that’s OK too. Eventually, they’re going to have no choice.” “I can only say from the standpoint of Israel, what I did was a great thing for Israel,” he said. “And what I did was also a very good thing for world peace, because everywhere we went — especially in the Middle East — where there was a problem, Iran stood behind that problem.” “So I canceled the deal,” Trump said. ” … I did it primarily because of nuclear, but I knew it wouldn’t be great for their (Iran’s) economy. I had no idea how devastating it would be.
Source: Kuwait News Agency