Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Trump says Israeli settlements 'complicate' peace prospects with Palestinians

Trump says Israeli settlements 'complicate' peace prospects with Palestinians

A senior official in the entourage of Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas, who left for Russian Federation for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin, responded to President Trump's interview with Israel Hayom.

Putin also commented that stability in the region is "far from what we want to see".

Other topics of mutual concern were discussed during the Putin-Trump call, including North Korea, according to the White House.

Abbas said last week that he hoped Russian Federation could assume a greater role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, saying the United States "can no longer play a leading role".

Trump's statement came in a phone conversation on February 12 ahead of a meeting in Moscow between Putin and Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas. "We call on Iran and its allies to cease provocative actions and work toward regional peace".

Palestinian Ambassador to Moscow Abdel Hafiz Nofal told the official PA news agency Wafa on Sunday, "We are betting on a larger and wider role for Russian Federation in the peace process". "His decision to move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem and consider Jerusalem the capital of Israel was like a slap in our face".

"We are going to see what goes on", Trump told the Israel Hayom daily in an interview released on Sunday.

Palestinian protest icon Ahed Tamimi is to go on trial before an Israeli military court for slapping and punching two Israeli soldiers in December in a case that has drawn wide criticism of Israel for prosecuting the teenager.

The U.S. leader, however, expressed doubts that Palestine or Israel are seeking to reach peace at the current moment. Late past year, Trump announced that the US would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a move that angered many Palestinians.

Modi was accompanied by Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamadallah at the Arafat mausoleum before he joined President Abbas to receive the guard of honour and hold talks.

"The capital, having Jerusalem be your great capital was a very important thing to a lot of people", Trump said.

The Omani minister will also visit occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus during his three-day program, he said.

"U.S. and Israeli officials are saying that any Palestinian leader who insists on East Jerusalem becoming the capital of Palestine and is committed to the right of return, in accordance with United Nations resolution 194, should be removed from power and replaced", he added.

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