Saturday, 27 May, 2017

Trump Vows Peace Push After Meeting Abbas - But Scant Details

Saul Franklin | 16 May, 2017, 10:05

WASHINGTON DC: Walking in the footsteps of many of his predecessors who delved into Israeli-Palestinian peacemaking - but ultimately failed - US President Donald Trump launched Wednesday his own "process which hopefully will lead to peace".

We want to establish peace between Israel and the Palestinians and we will achieve that...

"Such hatred", Trump said, referring to those incitements.

"We will get it done". "It's been a long time, but we will be working diligently".

Abbas is increasingly unpopular at home. "We believe that we are capable and able to bring about success to our efforts because, Mr President, you have the determination and you have the desire to see it become to fruition and to become successful".

That could prose major domestic political headaches for Abbas, as he battles unpopularity and challenges from rival factions.

Palestinian officials said after the meeting that Trump had not raised any specific proposals to restart negotiations.

The two men's upbeat tone contrasted sharply with that of veteran Middle East watchers. Only a two-state solution, Abbas said, would allow Palestinians to focus on fighting terrorism and enable Arab states to establish normal relations with Israel. Trump said that he is committed to working with Israel and the Palestinians in order to end the conflict but said that the US can not force the two sides to reach an agreement.

"What's he going to do if people pressure him? Both sides will have to make compromises", he said, directing a question at Netanyahu: "You know that, right?" "That's his legitimacy, is to say no", Quandt says.

After Trump's remarks, Abbas spoke for more ten minutes and repeated his positions on the peace process and the two-state solution.

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During the campaign, Trump promised there would be "no daylight' between his administration and Israel".

Trump emphasized that his administration wants to advance the Palestinian economy and "help unlock the potential of the Palestinian people" through job creation and private initiatives.

One of Trump's top advisers, Jason Greenblatt, held wide-ranging talks with both Israelis and Palestinians during a visit in March.

"Will Jared Kushner work?"

Trump has made clear he "stands with Israel", Pence said, and "as we speak, is giving serious consideration into moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem".

Speaking as he hosted his Palestinian counterpart Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, the U.S. president offered no clues about how he could break the political deadlock and revive stalled peace negotiations.

Not everyone is pessimistic about Trump's push for peace.

"If Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I'm happy with the one they like the best", he said, standing next to Netanyahu.

"There's certainly a common threat, when you think about it".

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