Trump at UN: Mideast Peace Deal 'Will be a Fantastic Achievement... I Say It Can Happen'

Trump at UN: Mideast Peace Deal 'Will be a Fantastic Achievement... I Say It Can Happen'
President Trump gets up to leave after making a quick statement at a meeting during the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Beginning his first United Nations General Assembly since taking office, President Trump told reporters “you’ll be seeing very soon” if the United States plans on staying in the P5+1 nuclear deal with Iran.

Before a meeting today with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump said the pair would be “discussing many things — among them, peace between the Palestinians and Israel.”

“It will be a fantastic achievement. We are giving it an absolute go. I think there’s a good chance that it could happen. Most people would say there’s no chance whatsoever,” Trump added. “I actually think with the capability of Bibi and, frankly, the other side, I really think we have a chance. I think Israel would like to see it, and I think the Palestinians would like to see it. And I can tell you that the Trump administration would like to see it. So we’re working very hard on it. We’ll see what happens. Historically, people say it can’t happen. I say it can happen.”

Asked if he favored a two-state solution, Trump replied, “We’ll see.”

The president is scheduled to give his first UN General Assembly address on Tuesday.

In another bilateral meeting today with French President Emmanuel Macron, “who’s had one of the great election victories of all time,” Trump hailed his counterpart as “respected by the French people, and I can tell you he’s respected by the people of the United States.”

“I was your guest at Bastille Day, and it was one of the greatest parades I’ve ever seen. It was two hours on the button, and it was military might, and I think a tremendous thing for France and for the spirit of France,” Trump added. “And people don’t know what great warriors they are in France, but when you see that and you see all the victories, it was a tremendous thing. And to a large extent, because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4th in Washington, down Pennsylvania Avenue. I don’t know. We’re going to have to try and top it. But we had a lot of planes going over and we had a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see. They had representatives from different wars and different uniforms. It was really so well done.”

“…But I came back, and one of my early calls were, I think we’re going to have to start looking at that ourselves. So we’re actually thinking about 4th of July, Pennsylvania Avenue, having a really great parade to show our military strength.”

At a working dinner this evening with Latin American leaders, the president called his companions “leaders of some of the greatest allies in the Western hemisphere, and that is so true.”

“We’re here to discuss the growing crisis in Venezuela. The socialist dictatorship of Nicolas Maduro has inflicted terrible misery and suffering on the good people of that country. This corrupt regime destroyed a thriving nation by imposing a failed ideology that has produced poverty and despair everywhere it has been tried. To make matters worse, Maduro has defied his own people, stealing power from their elected representatives to preserve his disastrous rule,” Trump said.

“The Venezuelan people are starving, and their country is collapsing. Was one of the wealthiest countries in the world for a long period of time, and now are the people are starving and the country is collapsing. Who would think that’s possible,” he continued. “Their democratic institutions are being destroyed. The situation is completely unacceptable. As responsible neighbors and friends of the Venezuelan people, our goal must be to help them regain their freedom, recover their country and restore their democracy.”

At a session on UN reform, Trump said the world body “was founded on truly noble goals” including “affirming the dignity and worth of the human person and striving for international peace,” but “has not reached its full potential, because of bureaucracy and mismanagement.”

“But I know that under the secretary general, that’s changing and it’s changing fast,” he declared. “And we’ve seen it.”