'Very good' chance for Israel-Palestine peace

May 07, 2017, 12:18

President Trump said after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he sees a "very good chance" of a Middle East peace deal during his presidency.

Barely two and a half months after having received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the USA president greeted Abbas on the White House lawn, before ushering him into the Oval Office for their talks.

Abbas stressed that his strategic choice is to achieve the two-state solution: Palestine on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital, to live in security, peace and stability with the State of Israel.

Trump said he believes Israelis and Palestinians are both willing to make a peace deal, adding that he does not think it will be as hard as people thought.

Visiting Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas said today that US President Donald Trump brings in "hope" towards finding a solution to the decades old Israeli-Palestine conflict.

"'We have always done it this way' is not a phrase that works on President Trump", McMaster said, adding that Trump has little patience for "a debate over doctrine".

"We believe that we can.be true partners to you to bring about a historic peace under your stewardship".

And one of Trump's promises - moving the us embassy to Jerusalem - could thwart the peace process.

While Abbas will be challenged on the payments, officials said Trump will reiterate his belief that Israeli settlement construction on land claimed by the Palestinians does not advance peace prospects.

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According to former White House official Dennis Ross, the gap between Israelis and Palestinians "has probably never been greater".

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House in February, he agreed to a joint press conference with President Trump and took questions from a number of foreign and domestic reporters. "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".

Efforts to overhaul health care, the tax system and government spending have faltered, despite Trump's Republican party controlling not only the White House but both houses of Congress.

The event, attended by Trump's new ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, is believed to be the first time the White House celebrated Israel's independence on its grounds.

Abbas's term was meant to expire in 2009, but he has remained in office with no elections held.

Palestinians are watching closely, including the leader of the radical Hamas movement Khaled Meshaal, who called on Trump to break with past approaches to Middle East peace.

"Mr President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace", Abbas said.

Trump, in complete contrast, made clear throughout his brief remarks that he regards Abbas as a central, viable part of the solution. As Abbas and Trump met, several thousand Palestinians attended a solidarity rally for the prisoners, with speakers calling for a new campaign of civil disobedience against Israeli rule.

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