Joint Press Conference: Trump Asks Netanyahu to “Hold Back” Settlements

February 15, 2017

WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump is asking Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to “hold back” on settlements for a bit.

In a joint press conference with Netanyahu at the White House Wednesday, Trump responded to a question about his position on the expansion of Israeli settlements, asking Netanyahu to “hold back on settlements for a little bit.”

He says that a “two state looked like it will be the easier of the two,” but says that if Israel and the Palestinians find an alternative that they like better, he’ll support them.

Trump also says that he’d like to see the U.S. Embassy in Israel moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, but noted that “we’re looking at it with great care.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is urging President Donald Trump to “let us seize this moment” to seek new avenues of peace in the Middle East.

Netanyahu also says he believes reversing the “rising tide of radical Islam” is also possible with Trump leading the United States.

The Israeli leader is at the White House to meet with Trump.

In his opening statement at a joint news conference, Trump says Israel has no better ally than the United States and the United States has no better ally than Israel.

President Donald Trump is opening his joint news conference with Israeli Prime Minister with a vow to encourage a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians.

But the U.S. president says the two parties themselves “must directly negotiate such an agreement.”

Netanyahu adds, “both sides.”

Trump reaffirmed the United States’ “unbreakable bond” between the two countries. He called Israel a symbol of resilience. He says Israel faces enormous security challenges and is calling the Iran nuclear deal negotiated under former President Barack Obama “one of the worst deals I’ve ever seen.”

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has arrived at the White House for a meeting with President Donald Trump.

Trump and his wife, Melania, greeted Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, at the south entrance to the White House.

The leaders shook hands and the prime minister kissed Mrs. Trump on the cheek. Trump and Netanyahu embraced as they entered the White House.

The leaders were heading straight into a news conference with journalists from U.S. and Israeli media.

Afterward, they were to meet in the Oval Office before continuing their talks over lunch.


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