Despite Terror Concerns, Trump Confident He Can Broker Peace Between Israelis, Palestinians

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas attends the Arab League summit at the Dead Sea Jordan

After a meeting at the White House in Washington, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump yesterday vowed to bring about an "historic" deal to end the Palestinian-Israel conflict.

"We will get it done", he said. "I want to support you in being the Palestinian leader who signs his name to the final and most important peace agreement that brings safety, stability, and prosperity to both peoples and to the region", Trump said.

Abbas responded with a bit of flattery for the USA president, praising his "courageous stewardship" and "your great negotiating ability", according to an English translator in the room.

In February, Trump had told Netanyahu that the road to peace included Israelis' willingness to "show some flexibility" and the Palestinians would have to acknowledge and reduce some of the "hate" for Israel. The deal would not just be about a peaceful, two-state solution, but also about solving the issue of refugees and prisoners "according to worldwide law".

But U.S. President Donald Trump came into office promising a renewed effort towards a peace deal - assigning his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to facilitate the process.

Trump and Abbas also discussed ways to enhance security cooperation to assist the Palestinians in countering terrorism, as well as stimulating the Palestinian economy. We need two willing parties. "Let's see if we can prove them wrong, okay?"

Trump, with his "great negotiating ability" will be the key to a successful and "historic peace treaty", Abbas said, because of his determination and desire to get it done.




Abbas had earlier reiterated a longstanding demand for East Jerusalem to be the capital of a Palestinian state.

Trump noted that he and Abbas have spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as other Israeli and Palestinian leaders about moving forward with the peace process, "which hopefully will lead to peace over the course of my lifetime".

Trump says it shouldn't be so hard if there were two willing partners. "It's been a long time, but we will be working diligently".

Trump - who promised during the campaign to move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem - also noted that Abbas was at the White House in 1993 for the signing of the Oslo Accords. Israel considers such payments a reward for terrorists, while the Palestinians consider them welfare payments for victims of Israeli occupation.

He did encourage Abbas to do more to discourage Palestinian incitement against Israelis.

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. "It's time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land", he said.

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