Trump hopes for 'something terrific' between Israel, PA

President Trump expresses optimism following his meeting with PA chairman.

Elad Benari ,

Abbas and Trump
Abbas and Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed hope that the Israel-Palestinian Authority (PA) conflict could be solved, following his meeting at the White House with PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

“An honor to host President Mahmoud Abbas at the WH today. Hopefully something terrific could come out [of] it between the Palestinians & Israel,” Trump tweeted.

Trump told Abbas earlier that a Middle East peace agreement was within grasp, saying, "We will get it done," and adding that together with the Israelis they could bag "the toughest deal to make."

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

Abbas echoed Trump's sentiments, saying, "Our strategic option, our strategic choice is to bring about peace. We believe that we can... be true partners to you to bring about a historic peace under your stewardship."

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters later that the two leaders discussed the issues of the PA’s incitement and payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons.

Officials said before the meeting that Trump would ask Abbas to cooperate with the initiative he plans to launch in the coming months to revive the Middle East peace process.

Israel-PA peace talks have been frozen since 2014, when an initiative by then-Secretary of State John Kerry failed after the PA unilaterally applied to join international institutions.

Since that time, Abbas has repeatedly rejected calls by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to sit down for direct negotiations, choosing instead to impose preconditions on such talks.