Trump claims a ‘lot of progress’ being made in Middle East talks

Trump claims a ‘lot of progress’ being made in Middle East talks

U.S. president insists positive steps are being taken - without specifying or identifying areas of improvement

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump claimed a “lot of progress” has been made in the Middle East, but he did not identify specific areas of improvement.

Mr Trump made the comments as he welcomed King Abdullah II of Jordan to the White House for a working visit.

Mr Abdullah recently met in the region with Jared Kushner, Mr Trump’s son-in-law and top White House adviser, who has been working on a plan to help achieve peace between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Trump ignored a question about when he would make the plan public but said “we’re doing very well” in the Middle East.

Mr Kushner, who recently met in the region with top officials, including Mr Abdullah and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, has said the plan will be released soon.

The plan, though, is likely to face steep resistance from the Palestinians, who have cut off ties since Mr Trump officially recognised Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and moved the US Embassy there.

“I can only say this, and his majesty knows, we’re doing very well in the Middle East. A lot of progress has been made in the Middle East, a lot, and it really started with the end of the horrible Iran deal,” Mr Trump said.

“That deal was a disaster and things are a lot different since we ended that, a lot different.”

Mr Trump in May withdrew the US from a landmark nuclear accord that Iran had agreed to with other world powers. He also reinstated harsh sanctions that had been lifted in exchange for Iran agreeing to curbs on its nuclear programme.

The White House had said Mr Trump and the king would discuss terrorism, threats from Iran, the crisis in Syria and working toward peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Mr Abdullah was accompanied by his wife Queen Rania. While the leaders met, first lady Melania Trump and the queen planned to catch up over afternoon tea in the Green Room of the White House.

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