Trump invites Abbas to White House ‘soon’ to discuss stalled peace process

US President Donald Trump on February 3, 2017 (L); Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on January 30, 2017 (Mandel Ngan/AFP; Zacharias Abubeker/AFP)
After first call since inauguration, PA president’s spokesman hails US leader as ‘honest, courageous man’ looking for ‘a just deal’

By Dov Lieber, Agencies | The Times of Israel

US President Donald Trump and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas held their first conversation on Friday since the controversial real estate mogul took office in January, with the president formally inviting the Palestinian leader to the White House for a meeting.

“The president emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal,” the White House said. “The president noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world.”

During the conversation, which lasted some 10 minutes, the US president invited Abbas “to visit the White House soon to discuss ways to resume the [Palestinian-Israeli] political process,” Wafa quoted Abbas’s spokesman as saying.

The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, said that Trump stressed his “commitment to a peace process that would lead to a real peace between Palestinians and Israelis”, Wafa reported.

Abbas told Trump that peace was a “strategic choice” for the Palestinian people that should lead to the “establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel.”

The report made no mention of the two-state solution, which the Trump administration appeared to distance itself from last month ahead of Trump’s meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

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