United States President Donald Trump has called on Israelis and Palestinians to make compromises that could lead to peace as he wrapped up a visit with a speech in Jerusalem.
The meeting with Abbas in the West Bank town of Bethlehem came a day after Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Peace, he said, "can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded or rewarded".
Michael Oren, a deputy minister in Netanyahu's coalition government and a former Israeli ambassador to Washington, said the vagueness with which Trump addressed the Israeli-Palestinian issue coupled with his sharp condemnation of Iran and terror dovetailed comfortably with current Israeli thinking. Past sitting presidents have not visited the wall in fear of it signaling that The United States believes that the territory belongs to Israel.
"I like you too", Trump said when the audience quieted.
Although the White House has stressed that the visit was unofficial and private and the US considers the status of Jerusalem unresolved and subject to negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, the visit carries weight. "If it does, I would say to you that it goes further in my mind as a member of the intelligence committee than just the focus on the Russian Federation investigation".
Trump spoke on his fourth and final day in the Middle East. Trying hard for PEACE.
Abbas said the Palestinians' struggle is not with the Jewish religion, asserting that the "fundamental problem is with the occupation, the settlements, and Israel's failure to recognize Palestine".
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"There were very substantive discussions in Israel with both Netanyahu as well as Abbas", Tillerson told reporters aboard Air Force One. The measures included extending the operating hours of the Allenby Bridge border crossing between the West Bank and Jordan, expanding a West Bank industrial zone and allowing Palestinian construction in areas of the West Bank under full Israeli control.
Trump was enthusiastically received by Netanyahu, who leapt to his feet when the president declared that his administration "will always stand with Israel".
President Donald Trump salutes as he arrives at the Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport in Rome on Tuesday.
President Trump and President Abbas reaffirmed their commitment to reach for a genuine and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis.
Trump has repeatedly underscored USA support for Israel during his first global trip as president.
Delivering a joint statement with Abbas in Bethlehem, Trump said: "The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out from our society forever".