Trump says Israel should be reasonable in peace process | Reuters

JERUSALEM U.S.

Reuters February 10, 2017 21:58:43 IST
Trump says Israel should be reasonable in peace process
| Reuters

Trump says Israel should be reasonable in peace process
 Reuters

JERUSALEM U.S. President Donald Trump called on "Israel to be reasonable with respect to peace", spelling out in his own words his administration's stance that new settlements on Palestinian land may not be helpful in an interview with an Israeli newspaper. Trump's comments to Israel Today come as he tones down his pro-Israel bravado ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's trip to the White House on Feb. 15. [nL1N1FU295]"I want Israel to be reasonable with respect to peace. I want to see peace happen," Trump said in the interview published on Friday. "I would like to see a level of reasonableness of both parties, and I think we have a good chance of doing that." During his 2016 election campaign, Trump signalled his presidency would be a boon for Israel and tough on Palestinians. He talked of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, naming an ambassador who backs Israel's settlement programme and exerting no pressure on Israel for peace talks.Now Trump is adopting a more measured stance. Even though the White House did not join the widespread criticism this week of a new Israeli law which retroactively legalises about 4,000 existing settler homes, its pro-Israel approach shows signs of being more nuanced.

"They [settlements] don't help the process. I can say that," Trump told the Israeli daily owned by U.S. casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, a Netanyahu supporter and Republican Party donor."Every time you take land for settlements, there is less land left," Trump said. "I am not somebody that believes that going forward with these settlements is a good thing for peace."

The president said his administration was "looking at some other options" regarding the settlements. He also said he was still studying the case for relocating the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, a move that could anger the Arab world.

"The embassy is not an easy decision. It has obviously been out there for many, many years, and nobody has wanted to make that decision. I'm thinking about it very seriously, and we will see what happens," Trump said. (Reporting by Maayan Lubell in Jerusalem and Matt Spetalnick in Washington; editing by Richard Lough)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.