Donald Trump (L) and Mahmoud Abbas (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
US President Donald Trump’s special representative for international negotiations Jason Greenblatt did not come to Ramallah to make proposals, but rather to hear the Palestinian perspective, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said in an interview published Thursday.
“Greenblatt did not offer ideas or bring proposals with him; he came to listen and learn what we are thinking and to pass that along to President Trump,” Abbas told Al-Watan, a Qatari publication.
Abbas and Greenblatt, Trump’s former real estate lawyer, met for a one-and-a-half hours on Tuesday as a part of the US envoy’s first trip to the Middle East as a diplomat.
Greenblatt wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening that his meeting with Abbas was “positive” and “far-reaching,” and that they discussed forging a peace deal, stopping incitement and building the capacity of the PA security forces.
Trump Middle East Envoy Jason Greenblatt meets with PA President Abbas on March 14, 2017 (credit: REUTERS)
Abbas told Greenblatt that settlements and the proposed relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem are holding up solving the Palestinian issue, according to the PA president.
“He listened to all of us well, posed a few questions to me and my brothers in the leadership... and received clear answers,” Abbas remarked, adding that he expects Trump to respond to the concerns raised with Greenblatt when he meets with the US president.
Trump invited Abbas to Washington last Friday in his first phone call between the Palestinian leader since he took office on January 20, but a specific date for the meeting has not been determined yet.
Abbas added that his contact so far with the new US administration has convinced him that Trump is “serious” about reaching a peace accord.
“I believe Trump will try seriously to resolve, not liquidate, the Palestinian issue,” Abbas stated.
Jibril Rajoub, a senior Fatah official, said on Wednesday that contacts between the Palestinian leadership and the Trump administration have been “positive and constructive.”
“I think we can make a peace deal under him... We are optimistic,” Rajoub told The Jerusalem Post
at a briefing in Jericho.
Abbas told a joint press conference with Bosnian President Mladen Ivanić in Ramallah on Thursday that he hopes Trump’s efforts will lead “to two states, Palestine and Israel, living side by side in secure and recognized borders.”
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