‚ÄúThe American desire for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians has remained unchanged for 50 years,‚ÄĚ the White House said in a statement from press secretary Sean Spicer. ‚ÄúWhile we don‚Äôt believe the existence of settlements is an impediment to peace, the construction of new settlements or the expansion of existing settlements beyond their current borders may not be helpful in achieving that goal.‚ÄĚ
Spicer reiterated that Trump ‚Äúhopes to achieve peace throughout the Middle East region.‚ÄĚ He added that the ‚Äúadministration has not taken an official position on settlement activity and looks forward to continuing discussions, including with Prime Minister Netanyahu when he visits with President Trump later this month.‚ÄĚ
Benjamin Netanyahu is scheduled to be in Washington on 15 February for what will now be a closely watched meeting for any signs of tension with Trump.
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