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Tillerson: Trump put 'pressure' on Netanyahu and Abbas to revive negotiations
03 June 2017, 04:29 | Katrina Lee
"I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack, and to the many killed and the families, so many families of the victims", Trump said. He also suggested Israeli-Palestinian relations could have a domino effect on peace in the region.
"So many young, lovely innocent people living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers in life", Trump said, echoing the theme he presented during his meetings with Arab leaders in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Trump, for his part, stressed the need to forge a historic peace deal, without mentioning any reference to the two-state solution or to an independent Palestinian state.
Tillerson also said, "We solve the Israeli-Palestinian peace dilemma, we start solving a lot of the peace throughout the Middle East region", a linkage that Netanyahu, who has said peace with other states is achievable before Israeli-Palestinian issues are resolved, has in the past forcefully rejected. "I intend to do everything I can to help achieve that goal". "But with determination, compromise and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal", he said. "And we are keen to keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbours", Abbas told his American counterpart, stressing, however, that the real problem was in occupation and settlements. He did not way in Israeli settlements, the status of Jerusalem or even whether the USA would continue to insist on a two-state solution giving the Palestinians sovereign territory.
During a ceremony to mark the 50th anniversary of the Six Day War, Netanyahu emphasized the importance of USA aid to Israel maintaining military dominance in the region.
Prior to his trip to Israel, Trump visitedSaudi Arabia on Sunday where he met up with Muslim leaders.
Security was tight for Trump's journey to Bethlehem, a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem but located across Israel'sseparation wall. He is slated to meet separately with Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem.
He added, "First the two-state solution must exist and be implemented".
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In his introductory remarks, Netanyahu tried to tie between the terror attack in Manchester on Monday night and the question of Palestinian funding for terrorists, arguing that under Abbas, a perpetrator of a similar attack would receive a lifelong stipend.
Reports on Israeli TV as the president made his way back to Air Force 1 noted that there was a "great sense of satisfaction" among ministers from the Likud and from the right-wing Jewish Home party following Trump's address.
"In my meeting with my very good friend Benjamin, I can tell you also that he is reaching for peace".
Trump initially sparked deep concern among Palestinians when he backed away from the long-established U.S. commitment to a two-state solution to the conflict.
Both sides are wary of being accused of resisting Trump's peace efforts or being cast as obstructing the resumption of talks. After Israel and the Palestinian territories, Trump will head to the Vatican, and to Brussels and Italy for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G7 meetings.
He became the first sitting U.S. president to visit the site in the Israeli-annexed east of the city.
Here's a list of the most tweetable faux pas from Trump's Israel visit. The U.S. has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over parts of the Old City seized in the 1967 war.
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