US President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed optimism that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) could be reached.
Speaking with reporters in New York, Trump related to his earlier comments in a meeting with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he said he thought a "two-state solution" was the best way to solve the Israel-Palestinian Arab conflict.
The President said that, while he still thinks the two-state solution is the way, he would be fine with whatever solution the two sides agree upon.
“I think we’re going to make a deal,” said Trump, who added that his son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is preparing the peace plan for Israel and the PA, “loves Israel but he’s also going to be very fair with the Palestinians. He understands that it takes two groups of people to be happy. Everybody’s got to be happy, and that’s why it’s so tough – there’s been so much hatred and anger for so many years.”
While he opined that most Israelis agree that the two-state solution is the best one possible, Trump stressed, “I think If the Israelis and the Palestinians want one state, that's okay with me. If they want two states, that's okay with me. I’m happy if they’re happy. I’m a facilitator. I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don't get killed anymore.”
Kushner, along with Trump’s envoy Jason Greenblatt, continue to prepare the administration's peace plan. PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, however, has rejected the plan before it has even been unveiled.
Abbas has been boycotting the US ever since Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital last December.
Trump’s earlier remarks were rejected by Husam Zomlot, head of the recently-closed PLO mission in Washington, who said the White House's policies were destroying "destroying the possibility of the two-state solution."
Zomlot added that Trump's comments alone were not enough to bring the PA back to the negotiating table.