US president-elect Donald Trump pledged Friday to work for a “just, lasting peace” between Israel and the Palestinians, in his first public message on the issue since his upset victory.

“I believe that my administration can play a significant role in helping the parties to achieve a just, lasting peace,” Trump said in a message published by the Israel Hayom newspaper.

He also said that any peace deal “must be negotiated between the parties themselves, and not imposed on them by others”.

France is currently pushing for an international conference to revitalise the moribund peace process, but Israel has said it will not take part — saying any peace talks should be bilateral between the two sides.

Russia has also offered to host direct talks between the two sides that have so far yet to take place.

The Palestinians have called for international involvement, accusing Israel of reneging on past agreements.

Speaking Friday after meeting Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas said Trump’s victory was “American business”.


“We followed the electoral process for over a year. What matters to us is what Mr Trump will say once he enters the White House,” he said at a press conference.