Trump invites PA President Abbas to White House

By
March 10, 2017 20:35

In their first conversation since Trump officially took office on January 20, a spokesperson for Abbas said that a meeting between the two leaders would be scheduled "soon."

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Trump and Abbas

Trump and Abbas. (photo credit:REUTERS)

WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House on Friday during the first phone call between the two leaders.

“President Trump extended an official invitation to President Abbas to visit the White House soon to discuss ways to resume the political process, emphasizing his commitment to a peace process that leads to real peace between Palestinians and Israelis,” Abbas’s spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeinah said in a press release to Wafa, the official PA news site.

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The call lasted ten minutes and was cordial, according to a Palestinian source.

Palestinian and Trump administration officials have only met twice since the new US president assumed office, while two top Israeli officials including the Prime Minister Netanyahu have already made official visits to Washington, D.C.

In early February, PA General Intelligence Chief Majid Faraj and National Security Administration officials met in the American Capitol.

A week later, Abbas and CIA Director Mike Pompeo met in Ramallah, a day before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu arrived in Washington to hold talks with Trump.

According Abu Rudeinah, Abbas also stressed his firm belief “in peace as a strategic choice to establish a Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel,” without mentioning the two-state solution.

Trump cast doubt on the US’s historic commitment to the two-state solution at a press conference on February 15th when Netanyahu visited Washington. "I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like ... I can live with either one," Trump said.

Friday's call comes a week before Jason Greenblatt, Trump's advisor for international negotiations, plans to visit the Middle East.

While Greenblatt is slated to visit Jerusalem to discuss settlement construction with Israeli officials, it remains unclear if he will meet with Palestinian officials in Ramallah as well.

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