Trump Vows Peace Push After Meeting Abbas - But Scant Details
- Author: Leroy Wright May 15, 2017,
May 15, 2017, 23:32
Mr Trump also said the two leaders would discuss economic opportunities for the people of Palestine through private sector development in the region, but that no lasting peace would be achieved "unless Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice". Critics say Trump's school-choice push could hurt public schools.
Abbas pointed toward a likely partnership while crediting Trump's "great negotiating ability".
He hailed Abbas for signing the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn 24 years ago, recalling that his guest was a signatory to that first agreement and hoping that the PA president would, in due course, be able to sign a final, permanent accord.
But Abbas also hoped to use the meeting to improve his diminished stature both at home and overseas, analysts say.
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Abbas is increasingly unpopular at home. A recent poll suggests two-thirds of Palestinians want him to resign, unhappy with the results delivered by what they see as a corrupt PA.
That could prose major domestic political headaches for Abbas, as he battles unpopularity and challenges from rival factions.
But Abbas will be encouraged that Trump did not publicly demand that the Palestinians cut funding to prisoners and their families.
Trump since his election has said he would like to broker a long-term deal between the two sides.
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.
Trump called the White House visit with Abbas a symbol of progress for peace between the two countries. "And if you are willing, we are going to make a deal".
The process of actually getting such a deal done would at this point a huge and complicated effort, with Israel's settlement expansions carving out ever growing portions of occupied Palestinian territory and its far-right government strongly resistant to any idea of a Palestinian state.
He was also clear that Palestine wants a two-state solution, a long-held USA stance that Mr Trump was open to changing earlier this year.
There can be no "incitement to hate" from the Palestinians, Trump said, and that there can be no targeting of innocents in the conflict.
During the campaign, Trump promised there would be "no daylight' between his administration and Israel".
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Buttu also takes offense at what she sees as Trump's businessman-like approach to the conflict.
Despite the passage of the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 by the U.S. Congress, which required the relocation of U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, former and current U.S. presidents, including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, consistently renewed a presidential waiver to delay the relocation on national security interests.
"We will be discussing details of what has proven to be a very hard situation between Israel and the Palestinians", Trump said.
Trump "is a results-oriented businessman who feels an intense responsibility to succeed for his investors, in this case the American people", McMaster said Tuesday at Independence Day celebrations hosted by Israel's embassy in Washington, agreeing with those who say Trump is "disruptive".
More details could come soon.