Thursday, April 20, 2017

TimesofIsrael: Hosting Abbas on May 3, Trump seeks ‘conflict-ending’ deal

Hosting Abbas on May 3, Trump seeks ‘conflict-ending’ deal: White House: President and Palestinian leader will look to reaffirm commitment to ultimately reaching a peace accord

WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump will host Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House on May 3 for talks on efforts to revive the Middle East peace process, the White House said Wednesday.

“They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

Trump spoke to Abbas for the first time over the phone in March and invited him to the White House.

Abbas later told US special peace envoy Jason Greenblatt that he believed a “historic” peace deal with Israel was possible with Trump in office.

Greenblatt told Arab foreign ministers in late March that Trump was committed to reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that would “reverberate” throughout the Middle East and the world.

Greenblatt has made two trips to the region since Trump assumed the presidency in January in an effort to jumpstart the long-dormant peace negotiations.

During those visits, he met with multiple stakeholders in the conflict, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Abbas. Trump hosted Netanyahu at the White House in February.

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