WASHINGTON - U.S. President Donald Trump reiterated on Wednesday his desire to bring about a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Speaking at a press conference with Jordan's King Abdullah II, Trump said he was "working very, very hard" on the issue and hopes to "be successful in finally finding peace between the Palestinian people and Israel."
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The Jordanian king, who is the first world leader to have met Trump twice since the president took power, complimented Trump on his efforts on that front. He added that Jordan and the rest of the Arab world remain committed to the Arab Peace Initiative from 2002, in which the entire Arab world offered Israel a peace agreement in return for the creation of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.
Abdullah said that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains "essentially the core conflict" in the Middle East.
Trump also used the opportunity to discuss the situation in Syria, addressing it in his own voice for the first time since the chemical attack that took place yesterday. Trump said that the attack "crosses a lot of lines for me" and called it "an affront to humanity." He added that the United States will step up its support for Syrian refugees in Jordan, who has taken millions of them since the beginning of the war in 2011.
Trump, who on Tuesday placed direct blame for the events in Syria on his predecessor Barack Obama, said today that while he "inherited a mess," it was now "my responsibility" to fix it. Trump said his attitude towards Syrian President Bashar Assad "has changed very much," but didn't go into concrete details what that would exactly mean. Trump's administration announced just last week that removing Assad from power was not an objective for it.