Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

President Trump announced for the first time today that he supports a "two-state solution" to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and the founding of an independent Palestinian state. Following his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he also said he would be presenting his long awaited peace plan in 2-4 months.

Why it matters: The Palestinians have been anxiously waiting for Trump to say this. In the 20 months since he assumed office, Trump refrained from supporting the two state solution even though presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama all supported a Palestinian state. Trump has been urged by Arab and European leaders — mainly King Abdullah of Jordan — over the last few months to pledge support for the two state solution.

  • Trump also stressed that he wants to get a deal between Israel and the Palestinians before the end of his first term in office.
  • He also said once again that Israel will have to make concessions to the Palestinians because the U.S. has already moved its embassy to Jerusalem. Trump said: "That's a big chip that they got. We have to make a fair deal.  Deals have to be good for both parties. Otherwise, you don't have a deal and you don’t have a lasting deal".
  • Despite the fact the Palestinians have been boycotting the White House since Trump's embassy announcement, Trump sounded confident and said he they will come back to the table "100 percent".

In a briefing to Israeli reporters after the meeting with Trump, Netanyahu said he was not caught by surprise by Trump's statement. Netanyahu said he told Trump that what matters is the substance and not the term.

  • Netanyahu said Jared Kushner, who is leading the U.S. "peace team," told the President during the meeting that different players have different interpretations of the term "Palestinian state."
  • Netanyahu said he reiterated Kushner's remark and told Trump that the question will be whether the Palestinian state will be "more like Costa Rica or more like Iran."
"I told the president that any future Palestinian state must not have the ability to threaten Israel and that the overriding security responsibility should stay in Israeli hands. I am sure that every U.S. peace plan will reflect that."
— Netanyahu

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh commented on Trump's: "The road to peace goes through a two-state solution with the state of Palestine on the borders of 1967 with East Jerusalem as its capital. This is an Arab and an international position."

What to watch: Tomorrow, Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas will give a speech at the UN General Assembly. Abbas arrived in New York with the goal of rallying the international community against Trump's peace plan. He even organized an Anti-Trump meeting with representatives from 40 states. It will be interesting to see if Trump's overture towards Abbas and the Palestinians will be reflected in the Palestinian president's speech.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 20,739,537 — Total deaths: 751,910— Total recoveries: 12,895,242Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 5,242,184 — Total deaths: 166,971 — Total recoveries: 1,755,225 — Total tests: 64,612,034Map.
  3. Politics: House Democrats to investigate scientist leading "Operation Warp Speed" vaccine projectMcConnell announces Senate will not hold votes until Sept. 8 unless stimulus deal is reached.
  4. 2020: Biden calls for 3-month national mask mandateBiden and Harris to receive coronavirus briefings 4 times a week.
  5. States: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp to drop lawsuit over Atlanta's mask mandate.
  6. Business: Why the CARES Act makes 2020 the best year for companies to lose money.
  7. Public health: Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments Cases are falling, but don't get too comfortable.

Fauci's guidance on pre-vaccine coronavirus treatments

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Antibody drugs and various medicine cocktails against the coronavirus are progressing and may provide some relief before vaccines.

The big picture: Everyone wants to know how and when they can return to "normal" life, as vaccines are not expected to be ready for most Americans for at least a year. Two therapies are known to be helpful, and more could be announced by late September, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci tells Axios.

3 hours ago - World

Behind the scenes: How the Israel-UAE deal came together

Trump, Kushner and Netanyahu (L-R). Photo: Kobi Gideon/GPO via Getty

The breakthrough in talks between the U.S., Israel and UAE on a normalization deal came two months ago, White House officials tell me.

Behind the scenes: Talks had been ongoing for more than a year, but they gained new urgency ahead of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's July 1 deadline to move ahead on West Bank annexations.