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Netanyahu: No One but US Can Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal

26 January 2018

U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said Wednesday that he thinks Prime Minister Justin Trudeau used his speech at the World Economic Forum on Tuesday to apply pressure on the United States in the NAFTA renegotiation.

The former top USA diplomat also commented on the ongoing efforts of the Trump administration to negotiate a peace plan between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, and suggested that Abbas present his own peace plan in the wake of the White House's recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital in December.

"There's an alignment of Israel and other countries in the Middle East that would have been unimaginable ten years ago and certainly in my life time", Mr Netanyahu said during a session of the World Economic Forum.

The Palestinians say the United States can no longer be considered a neutral broker. He also allegedly urged Abbas to launch personal attacks on Trump meant to enrage the president and force him to make errors.

Netanyahu, bolstered by Trump's unstinting support, later said he was willing to enter talks, but accused the Palestinians of avoiding negotiations.

A spokesman for president Mahmud Abbas said they would not meet with the United States administration until it withdrew its recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

The Israeli prime minister maintained Jerusalem will remain the capital and seat of power under any peace agreement as it has been the capital for more than 3,000 years.

He called Trump's actions a "slap in the face" and threatened that the Palestinians "will slap back". "Any embassy in the city is tacit recognition of Israel's claim".

Haley said Abbas' speech had "curiously" garnered little attention in the media. "It requires leaders who look to the future rather than dwell on past resentments", she said.

Israel's government regards Jerusalem as the eternal and indivisible capital of the country, although that is not recognized internationally.

Haley took Abbas to task for his "outrageous" anti-Israel, anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, saying they do not represent a person "with the courage and the will to seek peace".

"This is not a real estate deal, fundamentally not a real estate deal, but a problem of recognizing Israel's existence", Netanyahu said, "a problem of not recognizing a Jewish state in any boundary, but also has real estate elements and they're - I have to say - very creative".

White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said Trump will meet with Britain's May to discuss North Korea, the Syrian civil war and the Iran nuclear deal, which lifted sanctions on Iran and which Trump has vowed to abandon unless changes can be made.

Netanyahu: No One but US Can Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal