Washington: President Barack Obama today warned his successor Donald Trump against any “sudden, unilateral moves” on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, in an apparent reference to his plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
“The president-elect will have his own policy,” Obama told his final news conference, two days before leaving office.
“But obviously it’s a volatile environment. What we have seen in the past is when some unilateral moves are made that speak to some of the core issues and sensitivities of either side, that can be explosive.
Talking about Donald Trump’s stand on the issue, Obama
said, “so the President-elect will have his own policy. The ambassador, or the candidate for the ambassadorship obviously has very different views than I do. That is their prerogative”.
“That’s part of what happens after elections. And I think my views are clear. We’ll see how their approach plays itself out,” he said while responding to a question on the Israeli policy of the incoming Trump Administration.
In an apparent reference to Trump’s plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Obama said that sudden unilateral moves could be explosive.
“I don’t want to project today what could end up happening, but obviously it’s a volatile environment. What we’ve seen in the past is, when sudden, unilateral moves are made that speak to some of the core issues and sensitivities of either side, that can be explosive,” he said.
Noting that the United States is the biggest kid on the block, Obama said it is right and appropriate for a new President to test old assumptions and reexamine the old ways of doing things.
“But if you’re going to make big shifts in policy, just make sure you’ve thought it through and understand that there are going to be consequences, and actions typically create reactions, and so you want to be intentional about it,” he said.
“You don’t want to do things off the cuff when it comes to an issue this volatile,” Obama said.