update deskMiddle East

Trump to Macron: ‘I can be as tough with Bibi as I have been with the Palestinians’

Israel’s Channel 10 news reported that the U.S. president will pressure the Israeli premier, if necessary, regarding the Mideast peace plan.

U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House on April 24, 2018. Credit: White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.
U.S. President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House on April 24, 2018. Credit: White House Photo by Shealah Craighead.

U.S. President Donald Trump told French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines at the annual U.N. General Assembly last month that he is ready to pressure Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu into accepting the White House’s much-anticipated peace plan, four Western diplomats familiar with the meeting told Israel’s Channel 10 news.

“According to the four Western diplomats, Macron told Trump he has the impression Netanyahu doesn’t really want to move on the peace process ‘because he loves the status quo.’ Trump said he was very close to reaching the same conclusion,” the outlet reported.

However, the French leader asked Trump why he mostly puts pressure on Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas, to which Trump responded that he has done so because the Palestinians do not want to engage with the U.S. “peace team.”

But Trump assured Macron that he would able to pressure Netanyahu, if necessary.

“I can be as tough with Bibi as I have been with the Palestinians,” he reportedly said.

The White House did not deny the Channel 10 account, saying “the president believes that Prime Minister Netanyahu is committed to pursuing a comprehensive and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.”

The peace plan is expected to be revealed between the end of the year and the beginning of January.

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