Friday, 23 February, 2018

Trump to meet Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on May 3

Theresa May is seen as a pragmatic leader but the snap election decision came as a complete surprise Theresa May is seen as a pragmatic leader but the snap election decision came as a complete surprise More
Melinda Barton | 20 April, 2017, 07:21

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas will travel to Washington to meet with President Trump on May 3, the White House announced Wednesday.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (right) meets with Jason Greenblatt, the USA president's assistant and special representative for worldwide negotiations, at Abbas's office in the West Bank city of Ramallah, March 14, 2017.

The two will "reaffirm the commitment" of the US and Palestinian leadership to "pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel", Spicer said at Wednesday's White House briefing.

The meeting would be Trump's first with Abbas, and follows a series of United States contacts with the Palestinian leader.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he wants a peace deal, but Cabinet officials to Netanyahu's right favor unilateral actions, including annexing portions of the West Bank, that would stop well short of a final status deal.

The two leaders are expected to address options for pursuing peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Shortly after taking office, Trump alarmed Palestinians by calling into question his administration's support for a two-state solution, a bedrock of USA policy.

Since then, Trump also has asked Israel to "hold off" on settlement construction in territory the Palestinians claim for their future state.

Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner has been charged by the president to take charge of Middle East negotiations.

"President Abbas is to tell President Trump that a just and comprehensive peace would contribute to achieving peace and security in the region and the entire world", according to Abu Rdineh.