Abbas: Trump assured me of his commitment to peace

PA chairman says Trump assured him of his commitment to Israel-PA peace in their telephone conversation.

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Elad Benari,

Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas

Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas on Sunday said that U.S. President Donald Trump assured him of his commitment to Israel-PA peace efforts in their telephone conversation on Friday.

Abbas said, according to The Associated Press, that Trump "asserted his full commitment to the peace process".

The PA chairman added that he told Trump he opposes extremism and will cooperate with the U.S. to reach a peace deal based on the establishment of a Palestinian state next to Israel.

He said he is to meet Trump at the White House in "the near future."

Friday’s phone call between Abbas and Trump marked the first time the two had spoken since Trump took office.

The conversation came following an announcement that Jason Greenblatt, Trump’s special representative for international negotiations focusing on the Arab-Israeli conflict, would visit Israel this week.

Trump has prioritized the issue of Israel-PA peace, naming both Greenblatt as well as his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to be in charge of the peace process.

The president has thus far been unclear on how he sees the solution to the conflict. At his recent meeting in Washington with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Trump would not commit to the two-state solution as the only way to solve the conflict, saying he would back whatever solution the sides decide on.

"I'm looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like,” said Trump. “I'm very happy with the one that both parties like. I can live with either one."

Trump then told Reuters in an interview he likes the concept of a two-state solution, but reiterated he would be “satisfied with whatever makes both parties happy.”

Friday’s conversation was the first direct contact between Trump and Abbas, but reports last month indicated that CIA chief Mike Pompeo had met Abbas in Ramallah.

Israel-PA peace talks have been frozen since 2014, when the PA unilaterally applied to join international organizations in breach of the conditions of talks that were going on at the time, and which were led by former Secretary of State John Kerry.