Sunday, 27 May, 2018

White House asked Putin to help with North Korea

Commons Commons
Lillian Steele | 15 February, 2018, 07:38

But after going out of his way to talk up close ties with Israel during his first year in office, Mr Trump offered a more even handed approach in the interview with the conservative newspaper Yisrael Hayom by offering a cool assessment of Israeli settlement building.

Hours after the meeting, the White House confirmed a phone call had taken place, saying that Trump had told Putin that now is the time to work toward a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.

Erekat suggested that the U.S.'s actions amount to attempts at staging a "coup" against the "Palestinian political system", according to The Times of Israel. "Trump can hardly blame Israel now for not fully engaging the peace process-he clearly has yet to do so himself". The phone call was reportedly confirmed by the White House.

Speaking to the Israel Hayom newspaper, President Trump has made comments all but unheard of among top United States officials, openly questioning whether Israel "is genuinely seeking to reach a peace agreement with the Palestinians".

The status of Jerusalem, which is home to holy religious sites and has particular significance for Muslims, Christians and Jews, has long remained a sensitive topic and one of the core issues in the Israeli-Palestine conflict.

Trump said Israeli communities (settlements) in biblical Judea and Samaria complicate matters.

'In case of an worldwide meeting, we ask that the United States be not the only mediator, but just one of the mediators'. "The capital, having Jerusalem be your great capital was a very important thing to a lot of people", Trump said, urging both sides - Palestinians in particular - to bear that in mind while seeking a compromise. Israel occupied East Jerusalem in 1967 and proceeded to effectively annex it, in breach of global law.

Perhaps the strangest part of this interview was the introduction to it: When it comes to Middle East relations, Israel Hayom Editor-in-Chief Boaz Bismuth wrote that Trump is a "speak softly and carry a big stick" kind of guy, which is all kinds of ironic. Palestinian President Mehmoud Abbas had condemned the move, saying it disqualified the USA from playing the role of arbiter.

The Palestinian leadership in the occupied West Bank, however, sees East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state of theirs.

"Given the atmosphere created by the United State's actions, we... refuse any cooperation with the United States as a mediator", Abbas told Putin.

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