Trump and Netanyahu
Trump and Netanyahu Flash 90

U.S. President Donald Trump told Israeli leaders on Monday that the Arab leaders he met with in Saudi Arabia are willing to take steps toward Israel if the Israeli-Palestinian Arab peace process makes progress, a senior Israeli official told Haaretz.

The official, who spoke on condition anonymity, is reportedly familiar with the details of Trump’s talks with both Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

The official told Haaretz that Trump stressed that all the Arab leaders who were at the Riyadh summit, and especially Saudi King Salman, raised the Palestinian issue with him, telling him they wanted to see progress on the peace process and expressed a willingness to help.

“Trump spoke incessantly about his meetings in Saudi Arabia and said that the Arab world wants peace, and that he thinks so does Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas,” the Israeli official said.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has called for implementation the 2002 Arab peace initiative, which stipulates that 22 Arab countries will normalize ties with Israel in return for an Israeli withdrawal from Judea and Samaria.

Israel to date has rejected the plan due to the fact that it calls for Israel to accept the so-called "right of return" for millions of descendants of Arabs who fled pre-state Israel, effectively bringing an end to the Jewish state.

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister, Adel Al-Jubeir, last year said the initiative is the best solution for the conflict, and rejected Netanyahu's demand that the initiative be updated.

Jubeir said prior to Trump’s visit on Sunday that King Salman is optimistic about Trump’s ability to broker peace between Israelis and Palestinian Arabs.

Speaking Monday before having dinner with Netanyahu at the Prime Minister’s Residence, Trump expressed his optimism about the prospects for peace.

“In my visit to Saudi Arabia, I met with many leaders of the Arab and Muslim world, including King Salman,” Trump said. “These leaders voiced concerns we all share – about ISIS, about Iran’s rising ambitions and rolling back its gains, and about the menace of extremism that has spread through too many parts of the Muslim world ....

“I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen – one that will bring greater safety to this region .... This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I thank the Prime Minister for his commitment to pursuing the peace process....It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope.”