The Iran nuclear deal and sanctions are among the main issues that will be on the agenda when Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets at the White House with President Donald Trump.
Also on the agenda, of course, is the issue of Israel’s relationship with the Palestinian Authority.
The two are old friends, but have never before gotten together as two heads of state.
Israel’s prime minister is also scheduled to meet with Vice President Mike Pence and the Congressional leadership of the Republican and Democratic parties. Netanyahu attended a working dinner hosted by S
ecretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday at the State Department.
The Voice of America news site quoted David Makovsky, director of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy Project on the Middle East Peace Project as saying the two main questions to be discussed by the two men will be how to work with Arab states and how to constrain Iran’s influence in the region.
Both leaders were against the JCPOA (Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action) signed in July 2015 between Iran and six world powers, aimed at restricting Iran’s nuclear development program in exchange for ending economic sanctions.
Then-candidate Donald Trump promised to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and never to pressure Israel into a “two-state solution” deal with the Palestinian Authority.
On Wednesday, a White House official said Wednesday that a two-state solution is not the only solution — a view the Israeli government and numerous others have maintained for years.
“A two-state solution that doesn’t bring peace is not our goal that anybody wants to achieve,” the official said at a White House briefing, according to several media sources.
“Peace is the goal, whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution if that’s what the parties want or something else, if that’s what the parties want, we’re going to help them.”
However, according to a report by the English-language edition of A-Sharq Al-Awsat, Palestinian Authority officials “warned United States President Donald Trump on Wednesday against walking out on a two-state solution to the conflict with Israel.”
“If the Trump Administration rejects this policy it would be destroying the chances for peace and undermining American interests, standing and credibility abroad,” said Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official in the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In any case, the Trump administration does not yet have a complete team in place to carry out any foreign policy plans, Middle Eastern or otherwise. The Israeli government knows it, and so do responsible Arab nations.