Trump, Clinton Pledge Support for Israel in Netanyahu Talks

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U.S. presidential candidates met separately with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Sunday on the eve of their first presidential debate.

The talks were private, but the campaigns for Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump each issued a statement describing their sessions.

Clinton stressed the importance of a “strong and secure Israel.” She said she remains committed to a two-state solution between Israel and the Palestinians that comes from direct negotiations and not an outcome imposed by the United Nations or other outsiders.

The former U.S. secretary of state also pledged to enforce the international nuclear agreement with Iran, which Netanyahu has sharply criticized.

Trump’s campaign said he and Netanyahu discussed “at length” Israel’s use of a fence to help secure its borders, an example Trump frequently cites when he’s talking about the wall he wants to build between the U.S. and Mexico.

Trump also promised to recognize Jerusalem as “the undivided capital of the State of Israel.”

Such a move would be a major reversal of U.S. policy since the founding of Israel in 1948. The status of Jerusalem is a highly contentious issue between Israelis and Palestinians. The U.S. has its embassy in Tel Aviv, and officially does not recognize Jerusalem as a part of any country.

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The meetings will help serve to showcase the candidates’ expertise in foreign policy ahead of their first debate Monday night in suburban New York, six weeks before election day.

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