Trump Meets Palestinian Leader Abbas to Weigh Peace Prospects

"Mr. President, with you we have hope", Mr. Abbas said.

Trump, appearing with Abbas at the White House, told reporters about the peace deal, "We will get this done".

According to former White House official Dennis Ross, Trump was helping Abbas by extending the White House invite.

Earlier this week, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu questioned Abbas's motivations. U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he was committed to helping solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

It was the first time that Abbas had visited the White House in 24 years.

Donald Trump has said he does not think brokering peace in the Middle East will be as hard as people think. U.S. officials said such a request was raised in preparatory talks with Palestinian officials, and three Republican senators urged a halt to such payments in a letter to Trump that reflected widespread opinion in Congress. He also welcomed Trump as a mediator in the peace negotiations. In his joint press conference with Netanyahu back in February, Trump, when asked whether he favored a one- or two-state solution, said he is "happy with the one that both parties like", a departure from over a decade of previous US policy.

Others include a Palestinian end to anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence, administration officials said. Complicating it all are the vehement Palestinian criticisms of Israeli settlement construction and Israeli complaints that Palestinians are inciting violence.

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

The Palestinian leader says it is time for Israel to end its occupation of its land.

The US president "stressed that he is personally committed to helping Israelis and Palestinians achieve a comprehensive peace, and that any peace settlement can only be the product of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians", the statement said.

Trump sparked global criticism at the time when he appeared to back away from support for a two-state solution, saying he would leave it up to the parties themselves to decide.

Interviewed by CNN in Doha, Mishal said Trump has "greater threshold of boldness" than previous USA administrations. "Let's see if we can find the solution".

Abbas spoke through an interpreter and was equally positive, saying: "We are coming into a new opportunity a new horizon that would enable us to bring about peace".

Following Trump, Abbas said in remarks translated from Arabic that the Palestinian leadership's "strategic option" is to pursue a two-state solution for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.

Besides, a fair and integral peace would lead the Arab and Islamic countries to have normal relations with Israel, he said.

Mr Abbas, who governs in the West Bank while Hamas militants rule Gaza, was under pressure at home to avoid making major concessions to Mr Trump, especially with an ongoing hunger strike by hundreds of Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

  • Leroy Wright