Donald Trump believes he has “maybe the best shot” at achieving peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
Speaking at the outset of a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Trump’s displayed some of his customary swagger in asserting he had a strong chance of solving one of the world’s most intractable conflicts.
Framing diplomatic negotiations in business terms, Mr Trump said peace would be the “toughest deal of all” – he has formerly referred to it as the “ultimate deal” – but nevertheless projected confidence.
“We are looking seriously at peace and maybe ultimately peace for the whole of the Middle East and I think we have a pretty good shot, maybe the best shot ever,” the president said. “It’s a complex subject, always been considered the toughest deal of all: peace between Israel and the Palestinians, the toughest of all,” Mr Trump added. “I think we have a very, very good chance”.
If he does achieve a breakthrough, Mr Trump will succeed where a long line of successors have failed. There have been few concrete signs of progress since Mr Trump had dispatched his son-in-law Jared Kushner to conduct negotiations.
On other issues, Mr Trump’s confident declarations have run up against the complexity of the task at hand.
As Republicans struggled to uproot a much-reviled federal healthcare law, Mr Trump mused that “nobody knew health care could be so complicated” – a claim that baffled some healthcare policy experts and elected officials.