Next Steps on Israeli-Palestinian Peace Maintaining Momentum after the President’s Visit

Keith W MINES
25 July 2017
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In President Trump’s recent trip to Riyadh, Jerusalem and Bethlehem, and in previous meetings with the heads of state of Jordan, Egypt, and Turkey, he reiterated his seriousness about moving forward on Middle East peace. In each meeting he made clear it is a top priority of his administration. The theme continued in his visit to the Vatican, where the Pope gave the President a small sculpted olive tree and told his guest: “It is my desire that you become an olive tree to construct peace." The President later tweeted that it was the “honor of a lifetime to meet His Holiness Pope Francis. I leave the Vatican more determined than ever to pursue peace in our world.”

 

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters the President “was very forceful in his encouragement to [the Israelis and Palestinians] to be serious about approaching these discussions in the future, and recognize they have to compromise.” The President sent Special Representative for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt back to the region immediately after the visit to work on next steps.

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