23:22 GMT +319 August 2019
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    President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu participate in a joint news conference in the East Room of the White House

    Trump Turning to 'Old Allies' in Major Shift in US Policy in Middle East

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    Washington’s turn from the two-state framework for Israel and Palestine indicates that United States President Donald Trump is leaning towards the US’ traditional allies in the Middle East, according to Russian experts.

    The White House has said the US will not insist on a two-state solution to resolve the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

    "A two-state solution that doesn't bring peace is not a goal that anybody wants to achieve. Peace is the goal, whether it comes in the form of a two-state solution if that's what the parties want or something else, if that's what the parties want, we're going to help them," the statement said on Tuesday quoting a senior White House official.

    The concept of a two-state solution to the ongoing conflict between Israelis and Palestinians stipulates the creation of "two states for two groups of people." It has long been viewed by the international community as the only realistic way to end the conflict.

    The boundary between the two states is still subject to dispute and negotiation, with Palestinian and Arab leadership insisting on the "1967 borders," which is not acceptable to Israel.

    A visible shift towards Israel has been apparent in the Trump team since the period of the US electoral campaign, according to Grigoriy Lukyanov, a specialist in Middle East history and a lecturer at the Moscow-based Higher School of Economics.

    "When the first members of the Trump team were announced it was clear that many of them had ties with Israel or with the Israeli lobby in Washington. Some analysts predicted that Trump would return the US foreign policy in the Middle East on the same tracks on which it was before Barack Obama. This means reliance on the traditional allies, Turkey as a NATO member and Israel," Lukyanov told Sputnik.

    The expert reminded that in early-February the US blocked the appointment of former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad as UN envoy to Libya.

    "Even in such a minor case, the US stood against Palestine. This is a sign that Washington at least takes into account Jerusalem’s interests. Israel is likely to be a US ally in the region," Lukyanov pointed out.

    The expert suggested that in the near future, Washington’s shift towards Israel will become even more visible. However, according to him, this will be a "destabilizing factor" because such a policy will put into question all recent agreements between Palestine and the international community.

    At the same time, Trump has already indicated that the new US presidential administration will "consider the situation in the Middle East and the global environment," according to Tatyana Karasova, a senior analyst at the Institute for Eastern Studies, at the Russian Academy of Sciences.

     

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    Donald Trump, Palestine, Israel, United States, Middle East
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