Several hours after raising eyebrows with a statement revealing his preference for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, U.S. President Donald Trump expounded on his opinion, stating that while he prefers a two-state solution, any solution would be acceptable as long as it brings peace to the region.
“Bottom line: If the Israelis and Palestinians want one state, that’s OK with me,” Trump said at a press conference following his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly on Wednesday. “If they want two states, that’s OK with me. I’m happy, if they’re happy.”
“I’m a facilitator. I want to see if I can get a deal done so that people don’t get killed anymore,” added Trump.
Trump had told press earlier Wednesday that “I like two-state solution, that’s what I think works best. I don’t even have to speak to anybody, that’s my feeling.” The comment fueled fevered analysis on news channels on social media for hours, due to previous statements by Trump suggesting that he did not favor a two-state solution over a one-state one.
But in his clarification, Trump said that a two-state solution is more difficult, but that he believes it to be the better option “because you have people governing themselves.”
Trump said that the upcoming peace plan proffered by the United States, which is expected to be released in the coming months, would be “very fair with the Palestinians.”
Following Trump’s statements following their meeting, Netanyahu said Israel would not accept any solution in which the Jewish state does not retain security control of the land from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea.
“Some things are not acceptable to us,” he said. “Make no mistake: Israel will not give up on security control west of the Jordan as long as I am prime minister. I think the Americans accept that principle.”