Trump Invites Palestinian President to White House
- Author: Leroy Wright Mar 12, 2017,
Mar 12, 2017, 22:04
Greenblatt will visit with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on Tuesday.
Abbas and Trump spoke on Friday and a Palestinian Authority spokesman soon after reported the invitation, saying the meeting would be aimed at reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which has been dormant since 2014.
However, during Prime Minister Netanyahu's visit, Trump in a statement, asked Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit", in which the Israeli Prime Minister was caught by surprise. Since taking office on January 20, Trump has spoken by phone with Netanyahu twice and hosted him at the White House.
Palestinian officials asserted Saturday that the conversation between Abbas and Trump is proof that Netanyahu is wrong when he claims that the Palestinian leader is not a partner for peace, according to Haaretz.
The veteran Palestinian negotiator said "the upcoming meeting in the White House is so important because it may lead to launching the stalled peace process again", adding "President Trump showed a US commitment to the peace process".
During that meeting, Trump broke with decades of USA policy by saying he was not bound to the two-state solution for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
At a February 15 news conference during Netanyahu's visit, Trump was ambivalent about a two-state solution, the mainstay of USA policy in the region for the past two decades. In contrast, Mr Trump has been cautious in his contacts with the Arab world.
Former PA official and Abbas associate Ashraf al-Ajami told Army Radio in a separate interview on Sunday that the Palestinians do not want to see the U.S. pull away from the peace process.
Abbas and Abdullah had discussed during their phone call the latest developments linked to the Palestinian cause and the region.
It is shorthand for a final settlement that would see the creation of an independent state of Palestine within pre-1967 ceasefire lines in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, living peacefully alongside Israel.
During the United States election campaign, Trump said he did not necessarily see settlements as an obstacle to peace.
It was announced by Trump's spokesman Sean Spicer. "I can live with either one", he said during a press conference with visiting Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank are considered illegal under global law and have been major stumbling blocks in negotiations between Palestinians and Israelis.