PA official: We take Trump's peace efforts seriously

PA official Riyad al-Malki says Abbas was assured by Trump he will solve Israel-PA conflict in a year.

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Elad Benari,

Riyad Al-Maliki
Riyad Al-Maliki
Issam Rimawi/Flash 90

Palestinian Arabs are taking seriously U.S. President Donald Trump's efforts to help resolve the Israel-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinian Authority (PA) official in charge of foreign affairs said Thursday, according to AFP.

Riyad al-Malki was speaking in Muscat where he was accompanying PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas as part of a regional tour prior to the Arab-Islamic-American summit in Riyadh on Sunday.

"Abu Mazen stressed Trump's seriousness in settling the Palestinian issue" after they met in Washington this month, said Malki.

"The U.S. president assured him he will be able to find a settlement within one year," he added.

Trump is scheduled to visit the Middle East next week. His trip will begin in Saudi Arabia, and he will then visit Israel, where he will meet with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. He will also meet Abbas in Ramallah and is expected to “express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestinians”, as his national security adviser said last week.

Trump hosted Abbas at the White House on May 3, pledging to help end the decades-old conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

"It is something that I think is, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years," Trump said at the time.

While there were speculations that Trump might bring Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Abbas for a trilateral meeting during the visit, a PA official said this week that it might be "too early for us."

In the past, Abbas has rejected calls by Israel to sit down for direct negotiations, choosing instead to impose preconditions on such talks.

He did indicate last week, however, that he was willing to meet with Netanyahu, if the meeting was under the “auspices” of Trump.