Donald Trump to host Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on May 3

Donald Trump to host Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on May 3

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WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump will host Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas at the White House May 3 for talks on efforts to revive the Middle East peace process, the White House said Wednesday.

“They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said.

The meeting would be Trump’s first with Abbas, and follows a series of US contacts with the Palestinian leader.

Israeli-Palestinian peace talks have repeatedly run aground despite periodic US efforts to revive them, most recently by former secretary of state John Kerry.

But Abbas, who met in Ramallah recently with CIA chief Mike Pompeo and Trump’s special representative Jason Greenblatt, has said Trump is “seriously considering a solution to the Palestinian issue.”

The US president held talks last week in Washington with Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Jordan’s King Abdullah.

Shortly after taking office, Trump alarmed Palestinians by calling into question his administration’s support for a two-state solution, a bedrock of US policy.

But he has since warned Israel against “unrestrained” building of settler homes in the occupied West Bank.__Hindustan Times

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