US President Donald Trump arrives at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.
(photo credit: REUTERS/CARLOS BARRIA)
Iran featured high on the agenda during US President Donald Trump's address at the World Economic Forum in Davos on Friday as he reiterated that his administration would continue to call on its partners to block Iran's path to obtaining a nuclear weapon.
"When it comes to terrorism, we will do whatever it takes to protect our nation," Trump said, adding that the fight against radical Islam is not over.
Turning to the economy, Trump said: "I will always put America first, but America first does not mean America alone."
"America is roaring back and now is the time to invest in the future of America," he informed the audience made up of world economic and political leaders. "America's future has never been brighter."
Trump is the first sitting US president to visit Davos since Bill Clinton attended the forum in 2000. The World Economic Forum's main hall, which holds 1,800 people, was fully packed for what was called the most anticipated address in years.
Trump was expected to speak on a myriad of topics, including the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, but the conflict was never mentioned specifically in his 20-minute address.
On Thursday, he said that that the US has a peace proposal, which he characterized as “a great proposal for the Palestinians” and a “very good proposal for Israel.”
Trump also said that unless the Palestinian Authority shows that it wants to make peace, the US will “not have anything to do with them any longer.”
“I can tell you, Israel does want to make peace, and they [the Palestinians] are going to have to want to make peace, too, or we aren’t going to have anything to do with them any longer,” he continued, as he sat next to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Trump did not hide his anger toward the Palestinians for snubbing Vice President Mike Pence during his visit to Israel this week, saying the US will withhold aid funds to them until they return to negotiations.
The Palestinians, he said, “disrespected us” by not “allowing our great vice president to see them, and we give them hundreds of millions of dollars in aid support.”
Trump dismissed critics who hold that his Jerusalem decision set back peace, saying that he enhanced the chances of peace by taking the toughest issue off the table.
Netanyahu and Trump's meeting in Davos was the first since the president declared that the US recognizes Jerusalem as the official capital of Israel and that it would be moving the US embassy to the holy city in the near future.
Netanyahu told Trump this decision “will be forever etched in the hearts of our people for generations to come.”
In response to Trump's comments, top Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said Trump’s statement “only reaffirms that the US has disqualified itself from playing a role in achieving peace."
Herb Keinon contributed to this report.