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U.S. expenditures in Middle East have been 'a mistake'

U.S. expenditures in Middle East have been 'a mistake'

"Of course, we also talked about the Israeli-Palestinian settlement", he said.

European leaders have criticized Trump's dramatic policy shift on Jerusalem, but appear unwilling to confront Washington over its handling of more than two decades of failed efforts to broker an Israeli-Palestinian partition deal.

The UN has expressed concern at a U.S. decision to withhold more than half of a tranche of funding last month for an agency that supports Palestinian refugees. But he also questioned Israel's interest in striking a deal, saying: "I am not necessarily sure that Israel is looking to make peace".

Remember President Trump's peace plan, where he declared he would support whatever Israel and the PA decided?

"The settlements complicate on a different level - and it's always complicated - in making peace, so Israel needs to act with caution on the topic of settlements", Trump said.

During his trip to the Middle East in May 2017, the USA president told the Israeli and Palestinian leaders that they should make a compromise in order to achieve peace.

The announcement also riled US allies in the Middle East like Jordan and Turkey.

In addition, Israeli authorities are continuously bulldozing Palestinian villages while Israeli armed forces are forcibly expelling Palestinians from their homes - all of which amounts to human rights abuses.

Ishtayeh stressed on the strict Palestinian rejection of Trump's declaration on Jerusalem, adding that "Jerusalem would remain the capital of the Palestinians, no matter how Israel, the United States or others made decisions contrary to that".

"So we are just going to have to see what happens", Trump said, refusing to share any details on America's roadmap out of this latest mire.

In parallel, the European Union plans to approach Washington with a new initiative that could generate the opening of partial negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, with the backing of the worldwide community. "In December, he recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital, without securing concessions from Israel in return", Chris Meserole, a Middle East expert at the Brookings Institution, told Newsweek.

The Omani minister will also visit occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank cities of Bethlehem, Hebron and Nablus during his three-day program, he said.

Phone calls between the two leaders have received heightened attention due to the federal investigation into Moscow's interference in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump's campaign was involved. Trump's pivot upset Palestinians who seek the city's Israeli-annexed eastern sector as a capital.

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