Good chance for Middle East peace deal

Trevor Jackson
May 16, 2017

Expectations could hardly be lower for a diplomatic breakthrough as Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and U.S. President Donald Trump held their first meeting Wednesday at the White House.

Mr Abbas quickly reasserted the goal of a Palestinian state as vital to any rejuvenated peace process, reiterating that it must have its capital in Jerusalem with borders based on pre-1967 lines.

"It's. something that I think is frankly maybe not as hard as people have thought over the years", he said at the beginning of a lunch with Abbas and senior United States and Palestinian leaders.

These elements "have created an opportunity that coincides with our new and unconventional American president", he said.

Hosting Abbas at the White House, Trump said he would do "whatever is necessary" to bring together the Palestinians and Israelis, who have been warring over the same small patch of land for generations.

Shortly after assuming office, Trump signaled he is not opposed to abandoning the long-sought proposal to end the decades-old conflict, saying he instead prefers an undefined "ultimate deal".

We've got more newsletters we think you'll find interesting. Israel considers such payments a reward for terrorists, while the Palestinians consider them welfare payments for victims of Israeli occupation.

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While Abbas will be challenged on the payments, Trump will also use their meeting to recommit the United States to helping the Palestinians improve their economic conditions, officials said.

"We will get it done", he said. White House aides later said he would back an agreement upon which the two parties agreed. "Let's see if we can prove them wrong, okay?" he said, concluding a joint statement with his Palestinian counterpart.

He also gave early warning that both sides will have to negotiate - and give in on certain points.

"'We have always done it this way' is not a phrase that works on President Trump", McMaster said, adding that Trump has little patience for "a debate over doctrine".

Trump, while sounding hopeful about a peace deal, warned that "any agreement can not be imposed by the United States". Hosting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel in February, Trump said he would be fine with a two-state or a one-state solution as long as the two sides were satisfied.

Over half a million Israelis live in more than 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.

He certainly warned that there could be "no lasting peace" unless the Palestinian leadership spoke in a unified voice against violence and hatred. Every US president has signed such a waiver twice a year after a law was passed in 1995 mandating the relocation of the embassy unless the White House certifies doing so would raise national security concerns.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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