'Very good' chance for Israel-Palestine peace

Aaron Brown
May 16, 2017

President Donald Trump confidently predicted that a lasting Middle East peace agreement was within grasp Wednesday, as he hosted Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas at the White House.

US President Donald Trump has welcomed Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to the White House to discuss ways to resume the Palestinian-Israeli political process.

Abbas, for his part, continued the Palestinian Authority's long-held position that a long-term peace agreement requires a separate Palestinian state, bounded by territorial borders as they were in 1967 and with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Abbas said he hoped the U.S. could be "true partners" to bring about a historic settlement.

Speaking as he hosted his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, the United States president offered no clues about how he could break the political deadlock and revive stalled peace negotiations.

President Trump promised he might be able to do what eluded his predecessors for decades - brokering peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Abbas also said "peace" would allow Israel an opportunity to normalize ties with the Arab states. "We believe that it is possible to reach a solution".

Israel, meanwhile, has protested attacks by the Palestinians and calls from Hamas, the militant group ruling the Gaza Strip, for the destruction of Israel.

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Trump did not publicly press Abbas to end financial payments to the families of suicide bombers and to other Palestinians who attack Israelis and Americans, a practice that Israel and its supporters say amounts to subsidizing terrorism. "We will be working so hard to get the job done".

The Palestinian leader also praised Trump's reputation as a dealmaker, saying that would be a benefit in their talks with the Israelis.

Trump emphasized that his administration wants to advance the Palestinian economy and "help unlock the potential of the Palestinian people" through job creation and private initiatives.

"'We have always done it this way' is not a phrase that works on President Trump", McMaster said, adding that Trump has little patience for "a debate over doctrine". "Let's see if we can find the solution".

Abbas also voiced optimism about the prospect of a peace deal, citing Trump's "great negotiating ability". "Hopefully something terrific can come out between the Palestinians and Israel". "Palestinian leaders need to speak in a unified voice against incitement to violence and hate", he said.

US Vice President Mike Pence contended ahead of the meeting that the White House is "seriously considering" moving the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

With the global focus on Syria's bloody civil war and the threat posed by Islamic State, Palestinian officials have been keen to raise their cause up the White House agenda.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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