According to those familiar with the situation, President Trump briefed UN Security-General Antonio Guterres on his efforts at restarting the Israel-Palestinian peace process, saying that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is proven a difficult problem to overcome.
Trump conceded that both leaders are “problematic,” and that it’s difficult to convince either on the peace process, but that Netanyahu is “the bigger problem,” and a lot harder to bring on board with his efforts.
Trump was said to have expressed optimism about eventually reaching a deal anyhow. He believes Abbas’s age was an advantage because he “needs a legacy to leave behind,” and that he expects Netanyahu to eventually realize he’ll never have a more pro-Israel president to deal with.
Making peace is a tough issue for Netanyahu, however, as the far-right coalition government he leads has a number of members openly opposed to Palestinian statehood, and any progress on peace will necessarily harm him politically in the near-term.
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