Date confirmed for Abbas visit to White House

Trump is scheduled to welcome Abbas to the White House in two weeks.

White House spokesman Sean Spicer announced Wednesday that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ visit to the White House is scheduled for May 3.

Trump and Abbas are expected to discuss options for a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

“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 a daily news briefing.

Trump’s Special Representative for International Negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, conveyed Trump’s wishes to achieve a lasting peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians, while attending the Arab League’s 2017 summit last month in Amman, Jordan.

“(Greenblatt) reaffirmed President Trump’s personal interest in achieving a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians and his belief that such a peace agreement is not only possible, but would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world,” said a statement from the US embassy in Jordan.

Also in March, senior Palestinian official Jibril Rajoub expressed optimism, saying he believed the new US president was strongly committed to the establishment of a Palestinian state. Rajoub told foreign reporters that Trump had made it clear to Abbas in a recent phone call that he was his “strategic partner” in making a “real and serious” peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Palestinians were initially disappointed in the Trump administration’s apparent pro-Israel stand and particularly by the president’s initial vow to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The move may still happen, although the discussion seems to have been put on the back burner.

Since then, Trump also has asked Israel to “hold off” on settlement construction in territory the Palestinians claim for their future state.

By: World Israel News Staff

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