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Trump Confident There is Chance of Israeli-Palestinian Peace Deal

  • Ken Bredemeier

President Donald Trump shakes hands with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a meeting at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly in New York, Sept. 18, 2017.

U.S. President Donald Trump said Monday he is confident "we have a chance" to forge a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, but signaled new uncertainty about the U.S. view of the international deal curbing Iran's nuclear program.

"Most people would say there's no chance whatsoever" of an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal, Trump said as he got set for one-on-one talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of the annual United Nations General Assembly meetings. But Trump vowed to give peace efforts "an absolute go."

"I really think we have a chance," he said. "I think Israel would like to see it and I think the Palestinians would like to see it. And I can tell you that the Trump administration would like to see it."

But Trump deflected a question about what he plans to do about the 2015 deal that the U.S. and five other world powers negotiated with Iran to curb its nuclear weapons development in exchange for lifting economic sanctions against Tehran, a pact Netanyahu unsuccessfully sought to block.

"You'll be seeing very soon," Trump said.

The Trump administration, while criticizing Iran's military aggression in the Middle East, has twice certified that Iran is complying with the pact it agreed to with the U.S., Russia, China, France, Germany, Britain and the European Union, but faces a new certification deadline next month.

Netanyahu said he looked forward to discussing with Trump how the long-stalled peace efforts between the Jewish state and the Palestinians might be advanced. But he expressed deep concern about Iran.

"I look forward to discussing with you how we can address together what you rightly called the terrible nuclear deal with Iran and how to roll back Iran's growing aggression in the region, especially in Syria," the Israeli prime minister said.

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