Trump and Abbas to have first phone conversation

Trump is scheduled to speak by phone to Abbas on Friday, ahead of the arrival of the US’s Israel Affairs adviser in Israel next week to lay the groundwork for peace talks with the Palestinians.

For the first time since being sworn into office, US President Donald Trump will hold a telephone conversation Friday with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

The call is scheduled for just after 12 pm (EST).

The PA expressed concern after Trump’s election to the presidency, referring to his pro-Israel statements, particularly his vow to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which he referred to as the “eternal capital” of the Jewish state.

About a month into the new US administration, Abbas and his aides appeared to be alarmed by the possibility of being sidelined at a time when the administration was embracing Israel’s prime minister.

Last month, during Israeli Prime Minister’s visit to Washington, Trump expressed a conviction to help establish a peace agreement between Israel and the PA, but he did not explicitly demand a two-state solution. “I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like,” he stated. “I could live with either one. I thought for a while the 2 state looked like it may be the easier of the two, but honestly if Israel and the Palestinians are happy, I’m happy with the one they like the best.”

Trump’s chief Israel Affairs adviser, Jason Greenblatt, will be arriving in Israel next week, reportedly to lay the groundwork for negotiations.

By: World Israel News Staff