Palestine issue: Trump calls on Israel to show "flexibility", asks to hold back settlements

| Updated: Feb 16, 2017 07:20 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.], Feb. 16 (ANI): Calling on Israel to "to hold back" on settlement construction, President Donald Trump conveyed to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the United States is going to push for a peace deal with the Palestinians. "I'd like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit," he said at a news conference, welcoming the Israeli leader to the White House for their first face-to-face meeting since the inauguration. "The United States will encourage a peace, and really a great peace deal. We'll be working on it very diligently. But it is the parties themselves who must directly negotiate such an agreement," the President stated. Calling on Israel to show some flexibility, Trump asserted that they have to show they really want to make a deal. In a message to the Palestinians, Trump said, "You can talk about flexibility there, too," saying they "have to get rid of some of the hate that they're taught from a very young age." Signaling that Arab countries would be invited to help with negotiations to "make it easier" to achieve a peace deal, Trump added, "I also believe that we're going to have other players at a very high level and I think it might make it easier on Palestinians and others." On Tuesday night, the Trump administration signaled a major break with bipartisan US policy by not issuing a call for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. A senior US official said Wednesday that "it's not for us to impose that vision." The meeting between the two nations is expected to herald a warmer chapter in ties between U.S. and Israel after years of friction between Netanyahu and the Obama Governments. (ANI)