Trump warns Israel that settlements 'complicate' peace hopes



In the exclusive interview with Israel Hayom, Trump also urged both Israel and Palestine to make "hard compromises" to reach a peace agreement, as he warned against Israeli settlements.

Palestinian Authority officials said Abbas aims to include Russian Federation and other countries in any peace process with Israel in the wake of Washington's pro-Israel policies. Just two weeks ago, Trump's Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt told European Union ambassadors that the president does not consider Israeli settlements to be an obstacle to peace. "Regarding Israel, I'm not sure that it's ready to make peace either so we'll need to wait and see what happens", Trump said of the Israeli-Palestinian stalemate in an interview with the Israel Hayom newspaper published Sunday.

The PA has argued that the Trump administration was no longer qualified to play the role of honest broker in any peace process due to its "bias" in favor of Israel.

The president added that as part of the plan, "We will be talking about settlements". While asked about his comments at the World Economic Forum in Davos that "Jerusalem is off the table" in terms of negotiations, he said, "I wanted to make it clear that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel". It has broken all global laws and UN General Assembly resolutions and taken unilateral decisions, such as the deal of the century, which it seeks to levy on us.

Speaking at the opening gala, Ambassador Friedman hailed President Donald Trump's December 6th declaration recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital, and the administration's Israel Independence Day celebration previous year - the first ever held at the White House.

The conference, hosted by Besheva in the International Convention Center in Jerusalem, has been held every year since 2004, and brings together policy-makers and other Israeli leaders for discussions on the top issues facing the State of Israel. I was the first US Ambassador to celebrate an [event] for Yom Yerushalayim. Washington withheld $65 million-worth of a planned installment of $125 million to the Palestinian refugee agency, UNRWA. "It was a very important pledge that I made and I fulfilled my pledge", he said.

The settlements are considered illegal under worldwide law, though Israel disputes this.

"Russia and Putin can play an important role within the frame of an worldwide forum for peace", Abbas' diplomatic adviser, Majdi al-Khalidi said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin is due to host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Monday for talks on achieving a peace settlement with Israel, as Russia tries to promote itself increasingly as a peacemaker in global conflicts. Since then he has cut USA funding to a United Nations agency that assists Palestinian refugees and threatened to withhold aid money to the Palestinians unless they resume negotiations with Israel.