Donald Trump (L) and Mahmoud Abbas (R).
(photo credit: REUTERS)
WASHINGTON – US President Donald Trump is pursuing peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians that would end all claims to the conflict, the White House said on Wednesday.
The president’s spokesman, Sean Spicer, has told reporters in the past that the Trump administration wants to see a “comprehensive” peace agreement. But Spicer’s new language – calling for a “conflict-ending settlement” – comes ahead of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s first visit to Washington since Trump took office, scheduled for May 3.
“They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and the Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” Spicer said at the top of his daily briefing.
Both Abbas and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu face fierce political headwinds entering a new round of peace negotiations.
Both have significant constituencies to their Right discouraging any compromise, with Israeli right-wing leaders calling for an end to the notion of a two-state solution altogether and full annexation of the West Bank.
Abbas, meanwhile, faces extreme forces in his camp that insist on a right to return for Palestinian refugees displaced by the War of Independence, as well as over 95% of West Bank land, complete sovereignty for Palestinians in the Jordan Valley and part of Jerusalem as its capital. Further to the extreme are forces that advocate or fight for the destruction of the Jewish state.
Senior Israeli officials told The Jerusalem Post
last month that Trump seeks to bring together Israeli, Palestinian and Arab world leaders – including those from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states – at a summit in Washington sometime this summer.
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