Monday 16 July 2018

Middle East talks progress being made, Donald Trump claims

The US president welcomed King Abdullah II of Jordan for a working visit.

Donald Trump meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office (Evan Vucci/AP/PA)
Donald Trump meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office (Evan Vucci/AP/PA)

By Associated Press Reporter

US President Donald Trump claimed a “lot of progress” has been made in the Middle East, but he did not identify specific areas of improvement.

Mr Trump made the comments as he welcomed King Abdullah II of Jordan to the White House for a working visit.

Mr Abdullah recently met in the region with Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and top White House adviser, who has been working on a plan to help achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Trump ignored a question about when he would make the plan public but said “we’re doing very well” in the Middle East.

Mr Kushner, who recently met in the region with top officials, including Mr Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has said the plan will be released soon.

ipanews_68d73ac3-62e9-49c1-b485-b39e50f7ea3c_embedded866093
First Lady Melania Trump listens to President Donald Trump speak during a meeting with King Abdullah II of Jordan and Queen Rania (Evan Vucci/AP/PA)

The plan, though, is likely to face steep resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Mr Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy there.

“I can only say this, and his majesty knows, we’re doing very well in the Middle East. A lot of progress has been made in the Middle East, a lot, and it really started with the end of the horrible Iran deal,” Mr Trump said.

“That deal was a disaster and things are a lot different since we ended that, a lot different.”

Mr Trump in May withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear accord that Iran had agreed to with other world powers. He also reinstated harsh sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Iran agreeing to curbs on its nuclear programme.

The White House had said Mr Trump and the king would discuss terrorism, threats from Iran, the crisis in Syria and working toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Abdullah was accompanied by his wife Queen Rania. While the leaders met, first lady Melania Trump and the queen planned to catch up over afternoon tea in the Green Room of the White House.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News