Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

In Trump Abbas-Meet, Hope Springs Eternal as Peace Prospects Run Dry

Abbas also said "peace" would allow Israel an opportunity to normalize ties with the Arab states.

US President Donald Trump welcomed Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas to the White House Wednesday for what he hoped would be "terrific" talks on relaunching the Middle East peace process. "I believe that we are capable under your leadership and your stewardship - your courageous stewardship and your wisdom, as well as your great negotiating ability - that we can be partners, true partners, to you to bring about a historic peace treaty", Abbas said. Palestineans and Israelis should work together in order to achieve an agreement that allows both peoples to live and prosper, I will do whatever necessary to facilitate, mediate, or arbitrate, whatever they desire, expressed the United States president.

In statements from the Roosevelt room at the White House flanked by both the American and the Palestinian flags, Trump gave a much-needed boost to Abbas ahead of a working lunch with the delegation. "The Palestinians and Israelis must work together to reach an agreement that allows both peoples to live, worship, and thrive and prosper in peace".

"It's something that I think is frankly maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years".

"Mr. President, it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land after 50 years", he continued.

In their first face-to-face meeting, Mr Trump pressed Palestinian leaders to "speak in a unified voice against incitement" to violence against Israelis but he stopped short of explicitly recommitting his administration to a two-state solution to the decades-old conflict, a longstanding bedrock of U.S. policy.

"I reject out of hand the absurd statements of Abu Mazen on ending the occupation because the Jewish people are not occupiers in their own land", Hotovely said, using Abbas's nom de guerre. "We welcome President Trump's efforts to help solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu in February and today's with President Abbas", said AJC CEO David Harris.

"We must retain security control west of the Jordan River", he said at the time.

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Mr Abbas quickly reasserted the goal of a Palestinian state as vital to any rejuvenated peace process, reiterating that it must have its capital in Jerusalem with borders based on pre-1967 lines. He said there could not be lasting peace unless Palestinian leaders spoke in a unified voice against "violence and hate".

Abbas promised they are raising their youth in a culture of peace.

He said he would like to be the mediator.

"I suggest that [Netanyahu] move forward with Abu Mazen and declare that the official State of Israel is prepared to meet with [Abbas] without delay under President Trump's supervision", he wrote on Facebook.

Trump assured Abbas that he sees a "very good chance" for Israeli-Palestinian peace and that "we will get it done".

Livni also said that a majority of Knesset makers were in favor of a peace deal, appearing to echo her fellow party member Amir Peretz's statement from earlier in the day that the Zionist Union would back government peace efforts.

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.

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