Washington: US President Donald Trump said Wednesday he was open to a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if it is acceptable to both sides while urging Israel to hold back on settlement construction "for a little bit."
"I`m looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like. I`m very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one," Trump said at a press conference welcoming Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to the White House.
"I thought for a while the two-state looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly, if Bibi and if the Palestinians -- if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I`m happy with the one they like the best," he said.
Trump expressed hope that a Middle East peace can be achieved despite a deadlock hardened by Israel`s construction of settlement homes in the Palestinian territories.
Israeli plans for settlement construction in the West Bank have accelerated since Trump was sworn into office on January 20.
"As far as settlements, I would like to see you hold back on settlements for a little bit," Trump told Netanyahu. "We`ll work something out, but I would like to see a deal be made. I think a deal will be made. I know that every president would like to."
To achieve peace, Trump said, the Israelis are going to have to show "more flexibility than they have in the past."
"I think the Palestinians have to get rid of some of that hate that they`re taught from a very young age. They`re taught tremendous hate."
Trump, who promised during the US presidential campaign to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, said he would "love to see that happen."
"We`re looking at it very, very strongly. We`re looking at it with great care. Believe me. We`ll see what happens. Okay?"
Israel, which annexed East Jerusalem after capturing it in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war, declared it its united capital in 1980.
No US president has recognized it as such despite a law passed by Congress in 1995 requiring the embassy to be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Experts warn that moving the embassy would likely inflame Palestinians, creating further obstacles to peace.