U.S. President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview on Thursday he likes the concept of a two-state solution to the Israel-Arab conflict, but reiterated he would be “satisfied with whatever makes both parties happy.”
At his meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu last week, Trump would not commit to the two-state solution as the only way to solve the conflict, saying he would back whatever solution the sides decide on.
"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” said Trump. “I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one."
His ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, later tempered this stance, saying Washington "absolutely" supports a two-state solution but wants new ideas on how to move forward.
“No, I like the two-state solution,” Trump told Reuters when asked whether he had backed away from the concept during his joint White House appearance with Netanyahu. “But I ultimately like what the both parties like.”
“People have been talking about it for so many years now. It so far hasn’t worked,” he added, before clarifying, “I like this two-state solution, but I am satisfied with whatever both parties agree with.”
Trump’s comments at the press conference with Netanyahu last week were welcomed by Israel but denounced by the Palestinian Authority.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres cautioned against abandoning the idea of a two-state solution, saying there was "no alternative," while Egyptian and Jordanian leaders also renewed their commitment to that goal.
France in particular stressed its commitment to the two-state solution.
France’s ambassador to the UN stressed that his country’s commitment to a two-state solution is "stronger than ever".
A day later, French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault expressed concerns over Trump’s remarks on the two-state solution, telling Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that the Trump administration’s view regarding negotiations left Ayrault both “confused” and worried.
And, on Wednesday night, French President Francois Hollande reiterated that his country is committed to a “two-state solution”, claiming this solution was the only guarantee for Israel to remain a "pluralist and democratic society".
(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)