US President Trump has vowed to “do whatever is necessary” to reach peace between Israelis and Palestinians. After meeting Palestinian leader Abbas, Trump said peace is “maybe not as difficult as people have thought.”

Watch video00:38

Trump sees ‘good chance’ for Mideast peace

After a meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, US President Donald Trump told reporters on Wednesday that he’d “love to be a mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator” between Israel and the Palestinians in a bid to achieve a Middle East peace agreement.

The US president said he believes, “We will get it done.” But he also conceded that a deal “cannot be imposed by the United States or any other nation.”

Watch video02:35

Will Trump move embassy to Jerusalem?

“It’s … something that I think is frankly maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years,” he said at the beginning of a lunch with Abbas and senior US and Palestinian leaders.

No new strategy

In doing so, Trump committed his administration to helping to resolve the decades-old conflict, something his three direct predecessors have failed to achieve. But at the same time, he didn’t offer any new strategy about how peace could be achieved.

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.

Abbas spoke through an interpreter and was equally positive, saying: “We are coming into a new opportunity a new horizon that would enable us to bring about peace.”

Washington Jared Kushner (Getty Images/AFP/N. Kamm)Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner is to over Middle East peace efforts on behalf of the US administration


Hamas recognizes 1967 borders, rejects Israel

Palestinian Islamist group Hamas has altered its three-decade-old charter, softening its tone somewhat while rejecting negotiations with Israel. Israel has accused Hamas of attempting to fool the world. (02.05.2017)

Merkel tells Abbas, two-state solution only alternative

Rights groups mount legal challenge to Israel settlement law

Israeli minister: Palestinian state ‘off the table’ under Trump

But he added that peace with Israel must be “based on the vision of two states” based on the 1967 borders with the Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, and renewed his call for Israel to end its occupation of Palestinian land.

Abbas said he hoped the US could be “true partners” to bring about a historic settlement.

Confusing signals

But Trump’s commitment was met with skepticism in diplomatic quarters, coming just two months after he broke with the longstanding US policy of advocating a two-state solution, and vowed to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem, breaking with US policies that have lasted decades.

That move would likely spark Palestinian fury and is privately seen by many in the Israel and US security establishments as needlessly inflammatory.

On Tuesday, US Vice President Mike Pence said that “serious consideration” was still being given to the embassy move.

Plans are being made for Trump to visit Netanyahu in Jerusalem later this month, and possibly meet Abbas in the West Bank, the Reuters news agency reported on Wednesday. It said US and Israeli officials have declined to confirm the trip.

Watch video02:37

Blackouts in Gaza look set to worsen

mm/sms (AFP, AP, Reuters)


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s