Rubio not optimistic on prospects of Middle East peace

The Western Wall visit drew controversy before Trump even left Washington, when USA officials declined to say whether it belonged to Israel.

"The most important thing is that all parties agree on the way forward that President Trump gives us what we need, which is political support and fair mediation keeping an equal distance from ll parties, and performing what we all need which is a third party that would implement the vision that has been endorsed by the global community", he said.

As Trump became the first sitting president to visit the hallowed Western Wall on Monday, it remained unclear whether his administration was changing longstanding U.S. policy by declaring the wall's location to be Israel, rather than Jerusalem.

Trump concludes today a 28-hour visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories, where, in addition to Abbas, he met with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin.

Israel and the Palestinians have not held direct talks for more than three years and Mr Trump acknowledged it was "one of the toughest deals of all".

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"Peace doesn't always have to be Israel severing its land and handing it to its enemies", he said, also praising Trump's stance on Iran.

Abbas said Tuesday he hoped that Trump "will go in history" as the president who finally achieved Middle East peace.

This is published unedited from the IANS feed.

He has spoken of reviving long-stalled peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians, but few specifics have emerged of how he intends to do so.

But Rubio, who sparred with Trump on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the 2016 Republican presidential primary, said the Palestinians' view of peace is at odds with those of the American people. "I won't call them monsters because they would like that term", Trump said in a joint news conference with Abbas on the second day of the USA president's two-day visit to Israel and the West Bank.

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As things stand now, though, Rubio said he does not believe the conditions for the "sort of peace we all desire" exist. We just got back from the Middle East. "But with determination, compromise and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians will reach a deal", he said.

Trump called Jerusalem a "sacred city", but did not follow through on his campaign pledge to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and move the U.S. embassy to the city, which Trump called "the eternal capital of the Jewish people" during the campaign.

On Tuesday, he is to visit Yad Vashem, Israel's Holocaust memorial, and deliver a speech on the U.S.

President Trump, Monday, denied reportage that he leaked highly confidential information to Russian Federation in Israel.

Trump emphasized the point he had made throughout his trip, including at a summit of Muslim leaders in Saudi Arabia, that the region could unite against violence he claimed was promoted by Iran.

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