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Trump brings in hope for solving Israeli-Palestine conflict

Trump brings in hope for solving Israeli-Palestine conflict”

President Donald Trump says the White House is starting a process between the Israelis and Palestinians that "hopefully will lead to peace".

At a White House meeting with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, Mr Trump pledged to reinvigorate the stalled Middle East peace process and said he would serve as "a mediator, an arbitrator or a facilitator" between the two sides.

Abbas' visit comes more than two months after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited Trump at the White House, where the two men's chummy relationship was on full display.

Trump urged Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit", and while he said he'd "love" to see the United States embassy move to Jerusalem, he offered no indication it would happen soon.

Trump's long-shot effort to bring Middle East peace got off to a rocky start when he renounced support for a Palestinian state and vowed to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem, breaking two tenets of American policy held for decades.

USA officials quickly stressed afterwards that Mr Trump would support any arrangement agreed by the two sides.

But in a February news conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump broke with longtime USA policy by raising the idea of a one-state peace agreement, withholding clear support for an independent Palestine.

Trump, in complete contrast, made clear throughout his brief remarks that he regards Abbas as a central, viable part of the solution.

"You have the will and desire to achieve this success, and we will be your true partners to achieve a historic peace treaty", he said.

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.

Trump also praised the Palestinian security forces' coordination with Israel.

"Without this we will not accept any solution", said Abbas, who touted an Arab League peace plan that offers Israel diplomatic relations with the Muslim world for a Palestinian state.

At one point, Abbas, who read a statement in Arabic, said in English, "We have hope".

The continued expansion of Israeli settlements in occupied Palestine has created a major obstacle to the efforts to establish peace in the Middle East.

"There can be no lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violate, and violence, and hate", the president said.

Stopping them seems untenable to Mr Abbas, especially at a time of broad Palestinian support for a mass hunger strike of prisoners held by Israel.

Abbas mixed that flattery of Trump with a stern message on Israeli occupation. Trump also urged Netanyahu to "hold back on settlements for a little bit".

During a joint press conference with Netanyahu at the White House in February, Trump said he was "looking at two-state and one-state, and I like the one that both parties like".



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