Just before Trump’s trip, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tried to ease down tensions with Palestinians for a while; while the president of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) Mahmoud Abbas intensified his pressures on the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip for more than a month in a bid to court the American president.
U.S. President Donald Trump has visited the Middle East during his first overseas trip since he took office in January.
The last talks between the Israelis and Palestinians, led by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, broke down in April 2014 after about a year of largely fruitless discussion.
Business has always been key to the US’ relationship with the kingdom, which started in 1932 with the award of Saudi Arabia’s first oil concession to Socal, now known as Chevron.
Mentioning India and omitting Pakistan’s name is a conscious decision, one that can be seen as a clear indication of how the Trump administration sees this picture – Pakistan is fostering terrorism in India, while India’s transgressions in Kashmir are ignored.
“There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran”, Trump said as he opened talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Back in Jerusalem – Trump laid a wreath at Israel’s Holocaust Memorial and delivered a pre-departure keynote address punctuated by Israel-support, a push for Palestinian-Israeli peace and assurances of his administration’s position on Iran. We want Israel to have peace. “Big, big, attractive difference”, Trump said to loud applause from his audience, which included members of Netanyahu’s Cabinet and other officials.
As Daniel pointed out, Trump came face to face with a major symbol of Israel’s occupation during his journey to Bethlehem this morning “when his motorcade sped through a gap in the Israeli separation barrier that separates Israel from the West Bank”.
Trump’s deepening of the US commitment to Saudi Arabia was most tangibly signaled by the massive arms commitment and the disinterest in both democracy and human rights questions or any public discussion of Saudi Arabia’s role in the war in Yemen.
On the question of challenging Iran’s alliances and regional leadership aspirations, Trump and Netanyahu spoke much more harshly than Obama.
“Why would we not have our embassy in the capital city of Israel?”.
Trump made no mention moving the USA embassy to Jerusalem, lacked the routine U.S. condemnation of settlement construction and ignored past support for a Palestinian State.
In response, Rouhani said Washington should drop its “hostile” policy.
“I think there’s a great deal that’s misunderstood about the Muslim world”, he said.
“He created a new axis of evil – Hamas, IS, Iran and Hezbollah”, Ron Prosor said. The addition comes on the heels of a weekend announcement of a massive U.S. -Saudi arms deal.
Politicians, militia, and religious leaders, supported by the United States and regional countries, struggled for power at the expense of security and stability in the country.