Trump assures Abbas Israeli-Palestinian peace


WASHINGTON ― President Donald Trump predicted an Israeli-Palestinian agreement might be "not as hard as people have thought" in a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Wednesday, but failed to mention what has been a key component to a deal ― a separate Palestinian state.

"There can be no lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate".

Trump expressed his desire to have Palestinians and Israelis draw on the Oslo Accords that Abbas signed onto as the Palestinian negotiator in 1993 and said he hoped the Palestinian leader would soon sign "the final and most important peace agreement". Trump said he saw a "very good chance" of a deal, and Abbas said the Palestinians have "hope" with Trump in office.

Standing beside Trump, Abbas later told reporters that the strategic choice to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was "to bring about peace based on the vision of the two state".

"Mr. President, I believe that we are capable under your leadership and your stewardship, your courageous stewardship and your wisdom, we are - and as well as your great negotiating ability - I believe with the grace of God and will all of your effort, we believe that we can become - we can be partners - true partners", Abbas said.

US President, Donald Trump says a deal will be made between Israel and parties if both parties are willing.

"We want to create peace between Israel and the Palestinians", Trump said during a joint statement with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

The action would be seen as provocative because the city, claimed by both sides, had always been considered an issue for peace negotiations. It was part of the vigorous dose of optimism on display as Trump and Abbas showered each other with praise.

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Trump has assigned his son-in-law Jared Kushner to work on a Middle East peace deal.

What went unsaid Wednesday was Trump's willingness in February to back off a two-state framework. "Mr President, as far as a permanent solution, we believe that this is possible and able to be resolved".

The move was an unprecedented departure from an American policy shared by Democrat and Republican parties that has hinged on the establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel. Reaffirming his commitment to a two-state solution, he called on Israel to recognize Palestinian statehood just as Palestinians recognize the state of Israel.

"All my life I've heard this is the toughest deal to make", Trump said, and then addressed Abbas and added - "let's prove them wrong". Palestinian officials said after the meeting that Trump had not raised any specific proposals to restart negotiations.

Trump met with Abbas in the Oval Office earlier on Wednesday (3 May).

Stopping them seems untenable to Abbas, especially at a time of broad Palestinian support in the West Bank for a mass hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, now in its 17th day.

He said he is prepared to act as a mediator, facilitator or arbitrator between the two sides.