/ 28 February 2019

Trump says Israel’s embattled Netanyahu ‘smart,’ ‘strong’

Benjamin Netanyahu.
Benjamin Netanyahu. (AFP)

United States President Donald Trump defended Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday as the Israeli premier reportedly awaits a decision on whether he will be indicted on corruption charges.

“I can say this, he’s done a great job as prime minister,” Trump said in Hanoi after his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jing Un.

“He’s tough, smart, and strong. He’s very defensive, his military has been built up a lot,” Trump said.

Israel’s attorney general was expected to announce Thursday a decision on whether he intends to indict Netanyahu on corruption charges, Israeli media reported.

The reports come with Netanyahu in the midst of a tough re-election campaign ahead of April 9 polls.

Trump said he was not in a position to comment on the corruption allegations.

Trump again depicted himself as a consummate dealmaker as he discussed prospects for peace between Israel and the Palestinians. He said, “we have a good shot at peace.”

“All my life, I’ve heard that the toughest of all deals, when they talk about tough deals, the toughest all of deals would be peace between Israel and the Palestinians,” he said.

“They say it’s the impossible deal. I’d love to produce it. We’ll see what happens,” said Trump, whose son-in-law Jared Kushner is working on a Mideast peace plan.

© Agence France-Presse