Trump moves to settle Israeli-Palestinian conflict
12:19, May 7, 2017
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President Trump said after meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he sees a "very good chance" of a Middle East peace deal during his presidency.
Trump sparked worldwide criticism at the time when he appeared to back away from support for a two-state solution, saying he would leave it up to the parties themselves to decide.
"As part of our efforts to move forward toward peace today we will also discuss my administration's effort to help unlock the potential of the Palestinian people through new economic opportunities", Trump stated.
U.S. officials had said ahead of Wednesday's meeting that Mr Trump would press Mr Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails. United States officials said such a request was raised in preparatory talks with Palestinian officials, and three Republican senators urged a halt to such payments in a letter to Trump that reflected widespread opinion in Congress.
Trump was expected to pressure Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails, one of several actions Washington believes could lead to resumed peace talks with Israel.
A group of three influential Republican senators have called on Trump to ask Abbas to stop funding Palestinian prisoners and their families.
"Let's see if we can find the solution", he says.
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, said the US officials, who weren't authorized to publicly preview the talks and demanded anonymity. And if you believe the Times of Israel's founding editor David Horovitz, you will think it all went down so well for Abbas, that Israeli PM Binyamin Netanyahu will have some very sleepless nights.
Israel has rejected the 1967 lines as a possible border, saying it would impose security risks.
Trump stressed that there can be no lasting peace unless Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against "incitement ... to violence and hate". We believe you're willing.
But in a February news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Trump broke with longtime USA policy by raising the idea of a one-state peace agreement, withholding clear support for an independent Palestine.
"Mr. President, it's about time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land", Abbas said.
He hailed Abbas for signing the Oslo Accords on the White House lawn 24 years ago, recalling that his guest was a signatory to that first agreement and hoping that the PA president would, in due course, be able to sign a final, permanent accord.
Questions have been raised about Trump's choice of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who entered the White House with no government experience, to oversee Middle East peace efforts, along with Trump's longtime business lawyer, Jason Greenblatt, as on-the-ground envoy.
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