DAVOS, Switzerland — President Donald Trump threatened Thursday to withhold help cash from the Palestinians till they return to peace talks with Israel as he sat down with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on the sidelines of an financial summit in Switzerland.
Trump’s determination final yr to acknowledge Jerusalem as Israel’s capital roiled Arab nations and led the Palestinians to refuse to satisfy with Vice President Mike Pence throughout his go to to the Mideast this week. In addition they declared a brand new U.S.-led peace push lifeless, saying Washington can not be trusted as an trustworthy dealer.
READ MORE: Justin Trudeau, Israel PM have unannounced assembly at World Financial Discussion board
Trump mentioned that call has penalties. The U.S., he mentioned, offers “a whole bunch of hundreds of thousands of ” to the Palestinians, and “that cash is on the desk and that cash’s not going to them except they sit down and negotiate peace.”
A Palestinian official referred to as Trump’s “language of dictation unacceptable.” Nabil Abu Rdeneh, a spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, mentioned the Palestinians are “prepared to interact in negotiations” and dedicated to a peace course of “primarily based on a Palestinian state with east Jerusalem as capital.”
Trump’s remark got here shortly after he arrived on the World Financial Discussion board, which brings collectively world leaders, enterprise executives and celebrities. His look is aimed toward luring international funding to the U.S. and highlighting his “America first” financial agenda, regardless of its seeming odds with a gathering that celebrates international cooperation and free commerce.
WATCH: Trump’s America First message dampens temper at Davos summit
It wasn’t instantly clear what cash Trump was referring to in his risk. Washington has contributed over $5 billion in financial and safety help to the Palestinians for the reason that mid-1990s. Annual financial help since 2008 has averaged round $400 million, a lot of it dedicated to growth tasks.
Additionally on Thursday, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley instructed the U.N. Safety Council that the USA is not going to “chase after a Palestinian management that lacks what is required to realize peace.”
Haley criticized a Jan. 14 speech by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at a gathering of the Palestinian Central Council, the place he mentioned he would solely settle for a broad, internationally-backed panel to dealer any peace talks with Israel.
“A speech that indulges in outrageous and discredited conspiracy theories shouldn’t be the speech of an individual with the braveness and the desire to hunt peace,” Haley mentioned.
WATCH: Nikki Haley slams Mahmoud Abbas for peddling ‘conspiracy theories’
Final week, the Trump administration moved to withhold some — however not all — of a scheduled help cost to the United Nations company that assists Palestinian refugees. The Trump administration mentioned it could present $60 million, whereas holding $65 million till the U.N. physique undertakes a “elementary re-examination.”
Israel has been overjoyed by Trump’s pivot on Jerusalem, which Netanyahu hailed Thursday as an “historic determination that shall be ceaselessly etched within the hearts of our individuals.”
Throughout his go to to Israel this week, Pence instructed Israeli lawmakers that the U.S. was fast-tracking the embassy plans, aiming to maneuver it from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by the top of 2019. Trump mentioned he anticipates having “a small model” of the embassy open someday subsequent yr.
In his remarks, Trump referenced Pence’s journey to the Center East, which didn’t embrace a gathering with Palestinian leaders. Trump mentioned, “they disrespected us every week in the past by not permitting our nice vp to see them,” including: “Respect must be proven to the U.S. or we’re simply not going any additional.”
WATCH: Trump’s late arrival to World Financial Summit creates buzz in Davos
Trump arrived in Zurich forward of schedule and instantly boarded a U.S. helicopter for the flight to Davos, the place the World Financial Discussion board is being held. The roughly 40-minute journey took Trump over a snowy countryside dotted with homes, frosted mountains and a glistening lake. As Trump received off the helicopter in Davos, he gestured to aides who held him by the arms as he walked throughout the snowy touchdown zone to his ready automobile.
“We’re very blissful to be right here,” Trump mentioned as he arrived on the summit website. “America is doing very effectively, and can proceed to do effectively and this shall be a really thrilling two days.” He mentioned he was bringing a message of “peace and prosperity” to the gathering.
READ MORE: Because the wealthy transfer into Davos, the price of a hamburger platter hits $75
Whereas the president is predicted to declare that the USA is open for enterprise, the protectionist-leaning president’s attendance on the annual gathering for free-trade-loving political and enterprise elites has raised eyebrows. His determination to signal new tariffs boosting American producers this week has prompted contemporary considerations about his nationalist tendencies.
Trump appeared desperate to dispel considerations about his international management.
Throughout an earlier assembly Thursday with British Prime Minister Theresa Could, Trump insisted their relationship isn’t strained and that the U.S. and U.Okay. “are very a lot joined on the hip.”
READ MORE: Feminine journalists pressured to face behind male colleagues throughout Mike Pence’s Jerusalem go to
“We’re on the identical wavelength in I feel each respect,” Trump mentioned, insisting that they’ve a “actually nice relationship, though some individuals don’t essentially consider that.”
“We’re very a lot joined on the hip in the case of the navy. We’ve got the identical concepts, the identical beliefs, and there’s nothing that will occur to you that we received’t be there to combat for you,” he instructed Could. “You understand that.”
Trump hosted Could on the White Home days after he took workplace. However he not too long ago canceled a visit to London to have fun the opening of the brand new U.S. Embassy. Trump and Might also traded criticism final yr over his retweets of a far-right group’s anti-Muslim movies.
WATCH: Pence says U.S. embassy shall be inbuilt Jerusalem by 2019
Britain is raring to strike a free-trade cope with the U.S. after it leaves the EU in 2019. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin mentioned Thursday that U.S. is able to negotiate an “engaging” commerce cope with Britain as soon as that occurs.
Trump’s “America First” agenda and aversion to multilateral commerce agreements would appear at odds with a worldwide summit that stresses free commerce and worldwide cooperation.
However Mnuchin, who’s main the most important U.S. delegation ever to attend the unique gathering, mentioned “America First’ means working with the remainder of the world.”
READ MORE: Mike Pence lands in Israel on go to overshadowed by Donald Trump’s Jerusalem declaration
“It simply implies that President Trump is searching for American employees and American pursuits, no totally different than he expects different leaders would look out for their very own,” he mentioned.
The president is about to handle the discussion board Friday. He’s anticipated to showcase the booming U.S. economic system and measures like his current tax overhaul, claiming thriving America advantages the world. A vocal critic of commerce offers he sees as unfair to the U.S., Trump may even stress the necessity for what he sees as honest competitors.
Throughout his two-day cease, the president may even attend a reception in his honor, host European executives for dinner and meet with world leaders, together with Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Related Press writers Darlene Superville and Jill Colvin contributed to this report. With information from Reuters.