Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Trump, Abbas stress longing for peace through negotiations


Donald Trump said both Palestinians and Israelis have assured their support to his efforts for lasting peace in the region.

"I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East, and that would be an unbelievable accomplishment", the US President said on the last day of his Middle East visit.

Trump departed from Israel on Air Force One on Tuesday afternoon, following a landmark visit where he met with both the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem and Palestinian Authority President Abbas in the West Bank City of Bethlehem.

Before dinner at Netanyahu's residence on Monday, Trump avoided delving into details.

Trump will meet Pope Francis, with whom he has clashed repeatedly, today morning at the Vatican.

Al-Hindi said that "Trump's visit to Saudi Arabia and his description of the resistance as terrorism, in front of all of the Arab and Islamic world leaders, is a reflection of the ongoing deterioration in the region", referring to a growing alliance between heads of state in the region, the United States, and Israel at the expense of the Palestinian cause.

Footage appears to show Melania Trump swatting away her husband's hand as he reached for it during their trip to Israel. "Palestinians in Bethlehem say they feel like they're living in a ghetto with it".

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Trump also advocated during his campaign breaking with decades of precedent and moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, deeply alarming Palestinians. The president and Kushner visited one side, while the first daughter and first lady visited a portion of the site reserved for women.

He became the first sitting United States president to visit the site in the east of the disputed city.

Dozens, their health sharply deteriorating, have been moved to hospitals and field clinics by Israeli authorities, who continue to reject their demands for basic rights, including family visits, an end to solitary confinement and adequate medical care.

The status of Jerusalem is ultra-sensitive and has been among the most hard issues in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, stalled since April 2014.

Abbas announced he is ready to be Trump's partner in securing peace in the Middle East through establishment of a Palestinian state on land captured by Israel in 1967.

But the US President indicated that he and the Gulf states see an agreement with the Palestinians as integral to any new regional alignment.

After Israel and the Palestinian territories, Trump will head to the Vatican along with Brussels and Italy for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and G7 meetings.

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