- The Washington Times - Monday, September 18, 2017

President Trump said in a meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that there’s “a good chance” for a U.S.-brokered peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

“We are giving it an absolute go,” Mr. Trump said in New York. “We’re working very hard on it. I actually think with the capability of Bibi and frankly, the other side, I really think we have a chance.”

Mr. Netanyahu took a broader view, telling Mr. Trump that he wants their meeting to focus on “the terrible nuclear deal with Iran, and how to roll back Iran’s growing aggression in the region, especially in Syria.”

“We will discuss the way we can seize the opportunity for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, and between Israel and the Arab world, I think these things go together,” the prime minister told Mr. Trump.

Asked by reporters about his plans for the Iran nuclear deal, Mr. Trump responded, “You’ll be seeing very soon.”

Their meeting came on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly. Mr. Trump will give his first address to the gathering on Tuesday.

White House counselor Jared Kushner and advisers Jason Greenblatt and Dina Powell recently held meetings in the Middle East on restarting peace talks. A senior White House official said it was “a very productive trip.”

“Those peace conversations are continuing at a steady pace and will be mostly separate from the United Nations meetings,” the official said. “Achieving peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians remains one of the President’s highest priorities but the United Nations meetings will primarily focus on other issues and serve as check-in opportunities.”

Mr. Trump reiterated that he believes all parties want to strike a peace agreement.

“I think Israel would like to see it, I think the Palestinians would like to see it, and I can tell you that the Trump administration would like to see it. We’re working very hard on it, we’ll see what happens,” he said.

Mr. Netanyahu, who clashed frequently with former President Barack Obama, praised Mr. Trump’s support of Israel at the U.N.

“Under your leadership, the alliance between America and Israel has never been stronger, never been deeper,” Mr. Netanyahu said. “Under President Trump, America’s position towards Israel at the U.N. has been unequivocal, it’s been strong, it’s got both clarity and conviction.”

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