- Trump said Palestine 'disrespected' the U.S.
- He threatened to pull back aid unless Palestinians negotiate peace
- He said the U.S. gives "billions of dollars" to countries that turn around and "vote against us"
- Trump also said the U.S. would have "nothing to do" with the peace process if they don't cooperate
President Donald Trump blasted the Palestinian leadership for showing 'disrespect' to the U.S. and threatened to pull back U.S. aid unless they negotiate peace.
Trump hailed Israel as a loyal ally, then tore into the Palestinians while seated next to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Davos.
He complained that the U.S. gives "billions of dollars" to countries that turn around and "vote against us."
He then tore into the Palestinian leadership for turning back Vice President Mike Pence on his trip to the Middle East that concluded this week. That trip got delayed amid fury over Trump's announcement that he will move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
He complained about "when they disrespected us a week ago by not allowing our great vice president to see them and we give them and we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and support."
Pence met with Netanyahu when he visited the region. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas instead flew to Europe to meet with EU leaders in Europe in an apparent snub.
During his visit, the European Union gave assurances that it backed his plan to have East Jerusalem as capital of a Palestinian state – rejecting Trump's move.
Trump said Thursday of the aid that goes to the Palestinians: "That money is on the table. That money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace."
'Because I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace. And they're going to have to want to make peace and they're going to want to make peace or we're going to have nothing to do with it any longer. This was never brought up by other negotiations, but it's brought up by me.
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Trump also threatened the U.S. would have "nothing to do" with the peace process if the Palestinians don't cooperate.
"That money is on the table. That money is not going to them unless they sit down and negotiate peace. Because I can tell you that Israel does want to make peace," Trump said.
"And they’re going to have to want to make peace and they’re going to want to make peace or we’re going to have nothing to do with it any longer. This was never brought up by other negotiations, but it’s brought up by me," the president said.
He also defended his decision on Jerusalem.
"We took Jerusalem off the table. So we don’t have to talk about it anymore. They never got past Jerusalem."
He again cast the issue in terms of respect. "So we'll see what happens to the peace process. But respect has to be shown to the U.S.," Trump said.
Trump was accompanied on the trip by son in law Jared Kushner, who has made Middle East peace a priority.
Hours later, UN ambassador Nikki Haley tore into Abbas, comparing him unfavorably to the late Egyptian leader Anwar Sadat, who helped make peace with Israel.
By contrast, she said of Abbas "He insulted the American president" in a recent speech.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
© Associated Newspapers Ltd.