Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Minister: Trump's statement 'a cause for concern' //

Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel responded Wednesday to US President Donald Trump's statement Tuesday night that Israel will have to pay a "higher price" in negotiations with the Palestinian Authority "because they won a very big thing," referring to American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital and the transfer of the US embassy.
"The President stressed: 'If there ever will be peace,' I suggest that we examine this 'ever'," said Minister Ariel in an interview with Army Radio.
At the same time, he emphasized Israel must examine the President's remarks carefully. "This isn't a terrible morning, but there is cause for concern regarding Trump," the minister added.
He noted if there is an issue that should be of concern to the government it is the construction of a bridge on the Ayalon Highway on weekends. "There are other times to do the work, and construction on Shabbat is severe, unnecessary, and inappropriate, and the struggle will be shared with the haredim - the Torah is one," concluded Minister Ariel.

Bolton: No 'quid pro quo' in Jerusalem embassy move // Arutz Sheva News

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In his opening comments Wednesday, Bolton cited the recent arrest of Iranian agents in the US who were conducting surveillance of Israeli and American Jewish targets, as well as the planned attack by Iranian agents against a gathering in Paris, saying the two cases highlighted “the threat that Iran poses in Europe and the United States.”
Responding to a question from a reporter at the press conference regarding President Trump’s comments Tuesday night that Israel would have to pay a “higher price” in talks with the Palestinian Authority because of the US decision to relocate the embassy to Jerusalem, Bolton played down the statement, saying it did not indicate a change in US policy.
“I don’t think there’s any change in policy. I think the president looked at the recognition of Jerusalem as being Israel’s capital and the inevitable consequence of that – that the US embassy ought to be in the capital city of the country which its accredited as the right and natural thing to do, and it’s not an issue of quid pro quo.
“He’s made the point, I think, several times that this issue has been a hang up in negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. And as he said last night as well, he’s taken that issue off the table. As a deal-maker... he would expect that the Palestinians would say, ‘Okay, great – we didn’t get that one, now we want something else.’ We’ll see how it goes.
“But the fundamental point is that this is something that the parties are going to have to agree on.”
Citing former Secretary of State James Baker, Bolton said the US “can’t want peace more than the parties themselves.”
“The real point is, the president did the right thing in moving the embassy to Israel’s capital. And that in and of itself brings reality to the negotiations.”
“It was a very positive step forward not just for Israel, but for the Palestinians as well.”
The NSA later added that a peace deal was not something “the US is prepared to force on anybody.”

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