US Republican presidential nominee, Donald Trump, on Sunday told Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, that if elected, the United States would recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, marking a potential dramatic shift in US policy.
During the meeting that lasted more than an hour at Trump Towers in New York, Trump told Netanyahu that under his administration, the United States would “recognize Jerusalem as the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”
While Israel states that Jerusalem is its capital, only few other countries accept that, including the United States. Most nations maintain embassies in Tel Aviv.
"Trump Tells Netanyahu: If Elected, U.S. Would Recognize Undivided Jerusalem as Israel's Capital" https://t.co/KlUEnybh2f
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Palestinians demand that East Jerusalem which had been colonized by Israel in a 1967 war, be regarded as the capital of the Palestine.
Netanyahu held a separate meeting later on Sunday that lasted just under an hour with Democrat Hillary Clinton, Trump’s rival.
Clinton emphasized her commitment to the US-Israel relationship and her plan to take the relationship to the next level, according to a statement from her campaign.
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She also talked about her commitment to a two-state solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict “that guarantees Israel’s future as a secure and democratic Jewish state with recognized borders and (which) provides the Palestinians with independence, sovereignty, and dignity,” according to the statement.
“Secretary Clinton reaffirmed her opposition to any attempt by outside parties to impose a solution, including by the UN Security Council,” the statement said.
During the meeting with Trump, the Republican candidate’s campaign said he agreed with Netanyahu that peace in the Middle East could only be achieved when “the Palestinians renounce hatred and violence and accept Israel as a Jewish State.”
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The Trump campaign said that he and Netanyahu discussed “at length” Israel’s border fence, cited by Trump in reference to his own controversial immigration policies, which include building a wall on the US- Mexico border and temporarily banning Muslims from entering the country.
Other regional issues, including the fight against the Islamic State (IS), US military assistance to Israel, which was called “an excellent investment”, and the Iran nuclear deal, which both parties have criticized, were also discussed.