Trump to Putin: Now is the time to work towards peace

US Pres. Trump encourages Russia's Pres. Putin to discuss peace talks with PA Chairman Abbas.

Chana Roberts ,

US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin
US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin

US President Donald Trump spoke on Tuesday night with Russian President Vladimir Putin, just prior to Putin's scheduled meeting with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

During their telephone conversation, "President Putin noted that he would meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas later today, and President Trump said that now is the time to work toward an enduring peace agreement," the White House said in a statement.

In January, US Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt said he "firmly believes that there is a real path towards peace."

"We will not impose a deal on either party. But we know that the desire for peace is real, it is powerful, and it must be harnessed," he added then.

However, Abbas in December insisted that "the United States has proven to be a dishonest mediator in the peace process and we will no longer accept any plan from it."

The State Department's budge, released earlier this week, did not include cuts in funding for countries voting against the United States' recognition of Jerusalem in a UN General Assembly resolution in December.