Trump touts ultimate peace, but same obstacles remain

The US President has slammed anyone behind the Manchester attack. Source AAP

Trump's speech on Tuesday, delivered at Israel's museum to the Jewish state's culture and history, also stood to reaffirm U.S. commitment to Israel and hold up Judaism's historical ties to the country.

While past United States presidents have set out broad principles both sides must meet in order to reach a peace deal, Trump has resisted laying out any clear guidelines, instead promising to act as a mediator and urging both sides to take steps toward peace.

"Making peace, however, will not be easy", Trump, who assumed the presidency in January, said of the seven-decade conflict.

In this, Mr Trump sounded a lot like previous U.S. administrations that saw bolstering the Palestinian economy and Israeli-Palestinian security as a key component of the peace process, but failed to bring about a lasting settlement, said Khalil Shaheen, an analyst with the independent Palestinian think tank Masarat. With Trump in Sunni-ruled Saudi Arabia on Sunday, King Salman described the Shiite regime in Iran as "the spearhead of global terrorism". Mr Trump said he had come to Bethlehem, where the meeting with Mr Abbas was held on Tuesday morning, "in a spirit of hope".

Addressing parliament, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Jerusalem's Temple Mount and Western Wall will remain under Israel's control "forever".

Trump also pointed out that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal is important to bringing peace to the Middle East.

Mr Abbas had sought to convince the unpredictable US President to remain committed to an independent Palestinian state.

He criticized Abbas and Palestinian leaders for, as he put it, rewarding terrorist attacks on Israel.

Trump asserted that both Israel and the Palestinians are ready to pursue a peace agreement and reiterated his "personal commitment" to helping them achieve that goal.

The US president used the occasion to also condemn the "evil losers" behind a bomb blast at a pop concert in the British city of Manchester that killed 22 people. They would think that a great name.

Asked if the nuclear deal would prevent Iran from ever getting a nuclear weapon, Coats, who oversees 17 USA intelligence agencies, said it would only accomplish a delay "relative to them having a free hand" at developing nuclear capability. "One needs to seize it, show leadership and boldness, and we will help them". But they're losers. Just remember that.

A banner hung in the city said "the city of peace welcomes the man of peace" along with photos of Abbas and Trump.

He also urged Israel to comply with "just and human demands" of hundreds of Palestinian hunger strikers now forgoing food for the 37th day in Israeli prisons.

Abbas also raises the issue of the Palestinian prisoners, calling on the Israeli government to treat them "humanely". The biggest hurdle he has to cross is, who does the territory of Old Jerusalem belong to?

He said he was keen to "keep the door open to dialogue with our Israeli neighbours to build confidence and create a real opportunity for peace". As Daniel notes, the Israeli leader was referring to "what Palestinians see as a form of welfare support to families whose relatives have acted on behalf of the Palestinian cause".

He has since said the move was still being looked at. Bennett and Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, both of the pro-settlement Jewish Home party, voted against a measure to boost Palestinian building in Area C of the West Bank, which Israel fully governs.

First lady Melania Trump, daughter Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adsviser, also prayed at the Western Wall.

"As you have witnessed during your historic visit of holy sites in occupied East Jerusalem, and today in Bethlehem, the conflict is not between religions, for respecting religions and prophets is an integral part of our religion and faith".

The latest controversy stemmed from a dust-up last week between American and Israeli officials planning for Trump's visit.

USA -sponsored peace talks between the Israel and Palestinian had collapsed in 2014.

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