Trump reassures Abbas at the White House

Kristopher Drake
May 16, 2017

Donald Trump held a press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and said his administration "will get it done" regarding a peace agreement with Israel.

"It's something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years", the president said.

Abbas praised Trump, saying they could be "true partners" in bringing about an "historic peace treaty".

These elements "have created an opportunity that coincides with our new and unconventional American president", he said.

Trump began his remarks with a reminder that Abbas had been in attendance when the PLO leader Yasser Arafat and the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin signed their 1994 agreement in the White House Rose Garden.

Abbas and Trump spoke by phone on March 11, and there are suggestions the USA president could visit the Middle East this month.

Israel had been rapidly expanding construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem - something many see as a hinderance to peace. "We believe Israel is willing". "I'm looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like", Trump said in response to a question about the two-state policy, indicating that he did not have any real preference.

Throughout his campaign, Trump had promised to move the US embassy to Jerusalem and supported Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory - concepts that are both held in high regard by staunch pro-Israel groups.

Mr Trump said he had always heard "this was the toughest deal to make, let's prove them wrong". He hopes to resume Israeli-Palestinian negotiations that have been stalled since March 2014. He also said that he'd "love to be a mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator" between the two sides, suggesting a return to the premise of the 1993 Oslo Accords, which mandated "that all outstanding issues relating to permanent status will be resolved through negotiations".

His meeting with Trump, according to former White House official and peace envoy Dennis Ross, gives him "relevance and a boost" on both the Palestinian front and the regional arena.

"We believe that we are capable and able to bring about success to our efforts, because, Mr. President, you have the determination and you have the desire to see it become to fruition and to become successful".

President Donald Trump is expressing optimism for resumed peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel. "Palestinian leaders need to speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate", he said.

H.R. McMaster said the president's novel style coupled with the threat posed by the Islamic State and Iran could bring about Israeli-Arab peace.

Earlier Tuesday, Vice President Mike Pence held an Israel Independence Day celebration at the Old Executive Office Building, effectively a White House annex.

Reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution, he called on Israel to recognise Palestinian statehood just as Palestinians recognise the state of Israel.

During their joint lunch, the two leaders sat with their most senior advisers to further discuss the peace process.

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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