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Trump says two-state Mideast peace plan coming in near future

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Trump says two-state Mideast peace plan coming in near future
President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu walk outside the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 5. The two leaders met at U.N. headquarters in New York City Wednesday. File Photo by Olivier Douliery/UPI | License Photo

Sept. 26 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump said Wednesday he supports a two-state solution for Israel and Palestine, and expects to have a peace plan ready in a matter of weeks.

Trump spoke to reporters following a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City.

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"I like the two-state solution," he said. "That's what I think works best. I don't even have to speak to anybody. That's my feeling."

The president said he would like to unveil his peace plan in about two to four months.

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Trump has long advocated states for both Israel and Palestine, but said Wednesday fast tracking a resolution to the decades-old conflict is a chief priority.

"When they talk about tough deals, they always say Israel and the Palestinians. That's the toughest of all deals," Trump said. "It is a dream of mine to be able to get that done prior to the end of my first term. I don't want to do it in my second term. We'll do other things in my second term.

"It will take a little time, as you know. It's taken plenty of time -- many, many decades, and nothing's happened. But a lot of good things are happening."

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The president also encouraged Netanyahu to be aggressive on defense.

"They're aggressive, and they have no choice but to be aggressive," Trump said of Israel. "It's a very difficult part of the world.

"I just want to let Benjamin, let all of the people know ... we are with you. We are with Israel 100 percent."

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Palestinians have boycotted the Trump administration since the United States recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and moved the U.S. Embassy there five months ago.

Wednesday, Trump said the move has paid off.

"That's been something that, I guess, was controversial, but it's turned out to be very positive in many ways," he said. "And a lot of progress is being made in many other areas."

Earlier this month, the administration announced a $25 million cut in foreign aid to East Jerusalem hospitals -- a move experts say could be designed to pressure the Palestinians to resume negotiations.

When asked if he thinks Palestinian leaders will return to the bargaining table, he answered, "Absolutely. One-hundred percent."

Netanyahu thanked Trump for taking a strong stance on Iran in his address Tuesday to the General Assembly, during which the U.S. president urged the international community to isolate Iran.

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Trump reinforced his decision to abandon the 2015 nuclear deal and reimpose sanctions on the Tehran -- and said there will be more sanctions to punish the regime.

"Iran's leaders sow chaos, death and destruction," Trump said in his address. "They do not respect their neighbors or borders or the sovereign rights of nations.

"Thank you for your strong words [Tuesday] in the General Assembly against the corrupt terrorist regime in Iran," Netanyahu told Trump. "You back up your strong words with strong actions.

"No one has backed Israel like you do, and we appreciate it."

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