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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 20 October 2018

Donald Trump says 'one state is OK, two states is OK too,' hours after two-state commitment

UN General Assembly 2018: Mr Trump made the comments in an erratic press conference in New York

President Trump compared finding a Palestinian solution to carving out a real-estate deal (EPA)
President Trump compared finding a Palestinian solution to carving out a real-estate deal (EPA)

Hours after what seemed to have been an endorsement of the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, US President Donald Trump backtracked again in a press conference late on Wednesday saying a one-state solution would also make him happy.

During an 80-minute appearance, Mr Trump gave unrehearsed answers to a host of topics ranging from the Brett Kavanaugh testimony to North Korea, Canada and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.

Asked to elaborate on his earlier two-state solution endorsement, Mr Trump said two is more likely, but he would be fine with one-state. "I think probably two-state is more likely, but you know what, if they do a single, if they do a double, I'll be happy,” he said.

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Looking at his adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner who leads the US efforts, Mr Trump said "Jared, who's so involved, he loves Israel ... but also, he's going to be very fair with the Palestinians.”

The US President recalled his trip to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 and that King Salman told him he can't have peace in the Middle East without peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

But he described the peacemaking deal as a “real estate” agreement. "It's a real estate deal, you need carve-outs.”

“One state is OK, two states is OK, too,” he said. Mr Trump added that "healthcare is a tougher deal than the two-state solution.”

Mr Trump said he rejected a meeting with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau because “his tariffs are too high and he doesn't seem to want to move and I told him forget about it. And frankly we're thinking about just taxing cars coming in from Canada."

He again praised his talks with North Korea and expressed toughness on Iran.

The press conference had few odd remarks by Mr Trump, like when he addressed a Iraqi Kurdish journalist. ”Yes, please, Mr. Kurd, go ahead," he said when calling on the journalist to ask a question. He went on to praise the Kurds as great fighters and allies of the United States.

The US President said he will be watching the Kavanaugh hearing tomorrow and the testimony of his accuser Christine Blasey Ford, which may cause him to delay his meeting with deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein.