First Published: 2017-12-06

Tillerson insists Trump ‘committed’ to Middle East peace process
US Secretary of State defends president, says Washington still thinks there is ‘very good opportunity for peace’ despite Trump’s pending announcement.
Middle East Online

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital

BRUSSELS - President Donald Trump is "very committed" to the Middle East peace process, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday amid global alarm at a US plan to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Tillerson said the US believes "there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved" between Israel and the Palestinians, despite international outcry over Trump's decision on Jerusalem.

"The president is very committed to the Middle East peace process," Tillerson told reporters at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers in Brussels.

He said a small team led by Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has been "engaged in a quiet way" in the region to try to revive peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians.

"We continue to believe there is a very good opportunity for peace to be achieved and the president has a team that is devoted to that entirely," Tillerson said.

Trump's decision to back Israel's claim on Jerusalem -- which he is due to announce at 1800 GMT -- has triggered a chorus of international concern, amid fears that it could sink any hope of new peace talks.

Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital and previous peace plans have stumbled over debates on whether and how to divide sovereignty or oversee holy sites.

 

Israel PM faces renewed pressure in Europe

Bahraini civil society group criticised after Israel visit

Egypt revives controversial desert capital project

Syria’s justice system: ‘working without a written law'

Saudi Arabia lifts decades-long ban on cinemas

Houthi rebels tighten grip on Sanaa after Saleh’s assassination

Israel’s Syrian air strikes risk renewing escalation as Iran expands presence in Golan

Qatar to acquire 24 Typhoon fighters from UK

Palestinian stabs Israeli guard in ‘terrorist’ attack

UAE’s Sheikh Mohammed says US Jerusalem decision could help terrorists

Fateh encourages more protests, refuses to meet Pence

Chinese electric carmaker to open Morocco factory

Iraqi victory over IS remains fragile

Morocco’s renewed ties with South Africa likely to consolidate support for Western Sahara stance

Lebanese security forces fire tear gas at protestors

Iran sentences fugitive ex-bank chief to jail

Iraq announces 'end of the war against Daesh'

Israeli air strike kills 2 in Gaza

UK foreign minister in Iran to push for Briton's release

Turkey's Erdogan seeks to lead Muslim response on Jerusalem

Iraqi Christians celebrate in town retaken from IS

Isolated US defiant at UN Security Council

Putin to visit Turkey for talks on Jerusalem, Syria

Protests sweep Muslim world over Jerusalem

US urges Saudi to show caution in regional disputes

Thousands march in Istanbul to protest US Jerusalem move

Bahrain Shiite leader undergoes surgery

Malaysians, Indonesians protest US move on Jerusalem

EU, Jordan voice backing for Palestinian state

Clashes in West Bank over US Jerusalem move

Macron appeals for calm over US Jerusalem embassy move

World leaders to 're-legitimise' Lebanon PM at Paris talks

Iraq forces launch new push against IS desert holdouts

Iran cleric urges new intifada against 'occupying regime'

Heavy Israeli deployment ahead of Friday prayers

Saudi crown prince ‘bought’ $450 mn Da Vinci

Trump Jerusalem ploy sparks Palestinian protests

States pledge action, condemn Libya slavery

UN says Syrian males caught in ‘vicious cycle’ of sex abuse

Jerusalem move awkward for Arab allies of US

Niger repatriates nationals from Libya

Russia says mission to defeat IS in Syria ‘accomplished’

Jerusalem recognition brings little change and big risks

Qatar agrees to buy fighter jets from France amid Gulf crisis

Iraqi militia threatens US forces over Jerusalem provocation