PA: Ridiculous if Trump doesn't commit to 2 states

PA official says meeting between Trump and Abbas meaningless if US president doesn't commit to 2 state solution.


Unconvinced: Trump and Abbas
Unconvinced: Trump and Abbas
REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

A senior Palestinian Authority official said Monday it would be "utterly ridiculous" if US President Donald
Trump did not commit to the two-state solution, ahead of a meeting between Trump and Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump is due to meet Abbas on Wednesday before the PA chairman's address to the United Nations General Assembly the same day.

The US leader has been seeking to restart peace talks between Israel and the PA, in search of what he has labelled the "ultimate deal".

But PA officials have grown increasingly frustrated at the failure of Trump's team to commit to the two-state solution, the focus of international diplomacy since the signing of the Oslo accords in the early 1990s.

"It would be utterly ridiculous if Mr Trump doesn't eventually say that," Nabil Shaath, a senior Abbas adviser, told journalists in Ramallah when asked about the two-state solution.

"What the hell are we negotiating? We are negotiating a diplomatic accord between Abu Mazen and Mr Netanyahu where they can meet each other? No," he added, referring to Abbas by his Arabic nickname.

Trump's aides -- led by his Middle East envoy and son-in-law Jared Kushner and senior international negotiations aide Jason Greenblatt -- have been ferrying between leaders from the two sides in recent months.

But Shaath said he was not optimistic that the meeting between Abbas and Trump would lead to significant shifts.

"I don't know if Mr Trump has much to say. Already his delegation that was here, Mr Kushner and Mr Greenblatt, has requested a waiting period of three to four months before Mr Trump is ready with a formulation to get the peace process started."

"So it is a courtesy meeting of political importance."