Reaching a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians would be “one of the toughest deals of all,” President Donald Trump said Monday.
Trump stopped in Israel for the second leg of his first foreign trip as president. He visited the residence of the Israeli president, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the Western Wall ahead of a bilateral meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem.
Speaking to reporters after touring Netanyahu’s residence, the president thanked the prime minister “for his commitment to pursuing the peace process,” insisting to reporters that “he’s working very hard.”
“Not easy,” Trump said. “I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all. But I have a feeling that we’re gonna get there eventually, I hope.”
In his remarks, Trump said the U.S. welcomes assistance from any nation willing to help eradicate “violent ideologies” that he said have “caused so much needless bloodshed and killing here and all over the world.”
“I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen, one that will bring greater safety to this region, greater security to the United States and greater prosperity to the world,” he continued. “This includes a renewed effort at peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.”
Earlier Monday, the president joked that longtime Trump Organization negotiator Jason Greenblatt and U.S. ambassador to Israel David Friedman would be responsible for achieving Middle East peace, a task that has also been delegated to Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.
“If not, you’ll be blamed because I just put it on record,” Trump quipped.