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Trump Says U.S. Will No Longer Insist On A Palestinian State

| by Lauren Briggs

President Donald Trump discussed his plans on Feb. 15 to negotiate a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, during which he said that the U.S. would not demand a separate Palestinian state as the last three presidential administrations have done.

"I think we're going to make a deal," Trump said at a joint press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, according to The New York Times. "It might be a better deal than people in this room understand."

Since the days of former President Bill Clinton's administration, the U.S. has committed to negotiating a sovereign Palestinian state, which is widely believed to be a part of the only terms Palestinians would find acceptable.

"I'm looking at two states and one state," Trump told reporters. "I like the one that both parties like. I can live with either one."

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The president also encouraged Netanyahu to "hold back" on constructing settlements in the West Bank.

"As with any successful negotiation, both sides will have to make compromises," Trump told the prime minister. "You know that, right?"

But peace in the region will require much more than an open, flexible approach from Netanyahu, added Trump.

"You can talk about flexibility [in Palestine] too," the president said, explaining that Palestinians "have to get rid of some of the hate that they're taught from a very young age" in order for it to work, according to CNN.

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Trump also said that he might invite other Arab nations to help with the negotiations.

"I also believe that we're going to have other players at a very high level and I think it might make it easier on Palestinians and others," he added.

Trump and Netanyahu agreed that it is good timing for the peace deal, since many Arab nations no longer see Israel as an enemy, as they have been working together to fight ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region.

"This change in our region creates an unprecedented opportunity to strengthen security and advance peace," said Netanyahu.

Sources: The New York Times, CNN / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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