Despite Terror Concerns, Trump Confident He Can Broker Peace Between Israelis, Palestinians

Geneva Matthews
May 16, 2017

Trump has met with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD' ah-BAHS') in the Oval Office, and the president says he'd "love to be a mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator" between the two sides.

He was also clear that Palestine wants a two-state solution, a long-held U.S. stance that Mr Trump was open to changing earlier this year. "We believe Israel is willing, we believe you're willing, and if you both are willing, we're going to make a deal".

These elements "have created an opportunity that coincides with our new and unconventional American president", he said.

In his first face-to-face meeting with the Palestinian leader - the two have spoken by phone - Trump said he would call on Abbas to abide by Netanyahu's request to end the payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails, and demand that Palestinians end anti-Semitic threats and incitement of violence.

Mr Abbas allegedly played a role in pushing the vote through and members of Mr Trump's team have not forgotten it, according to the LA Times.

"I think there is a very, very good chance, and I think you feel the same way", Trump said. Abbas also spoke positively about the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, in which all Arab states offered peace to Israel after the establishment of a Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.

"They get along unbelievably well...they work together beautifully", Trump said.

Trump renounced support for a Palestinian state and vowed to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem, breaking two tenets of American policy held for decades.

Throughout his campaign, Trump had promised to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem and supported Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory - concepts that are both held in high regard by staunch pro-Israel groups.

"Over the course of my lifetime, I've always heard perhaps the toughest deal to make is between the Israelis and Palestinians", Trump said.

But mutual distrust between Palestinians and Israelis will be a formidable, if not impossible, barrier for Trump to overcome.

He also gave early warning that both sides will have to negotiate - and give in on certain points. "Let's see if we can prove them wrong, okay?" he said, concluding a joint statement with his Palestinian counterpart.

As CBS2's Andrea Grymes reported, Abbas lauded Trump's "courageous stewardship" and his negotiating skills, saying peace is achievable.

The meeting comes amid the Trump administration's efforts to lay the groundwork for brokering a lasting peace between Palestine and Israel.

The meeting with Mr Abbas, the Western-backed head of the Palestinian Authority, was another test of whether Mr Trump, in office a little more than 100 days, is serious about pursuing what he has called the "ultimate deal" of Israeli-Palestinian peace that eluded his predecessors.

Other reports by VideoGamingPros

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