A day after he landed in Washington, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas arrived at the White House for his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump.
USA officials had said ahead of Wednesday's meeting that Trump would press Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails.
Speaking through a translator, Abbas thanked President Trump for the opportunity to visit the White House, urging him to support a two-state solution. "And if you you both are willing, we're going to make a deal".
Over the course of his campaign, Trump hinted at dropping the traditional two-state solution past presidents have supported (he also mulled moving the us embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the disputed holy city claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis).
Abbas said Palestine was the only nation in the world living under occupation. I am firmly believing that this is possibly - we are able to resolve it.
Qadoura Fares, head of a Palestinian prisoners rights group, told the gathering that Israel had to negotiate with the leaders of the strike and accept their demands.
Abbas previously said he would never sign a peace deal if it requires recognizing Israel as a Jewish state.
"We will get this done", Trump vowed.
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Trump renounced support for a Palestinian state and vowed to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, breaking two tenets of American policy held for decades. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict is rooted in a dispute over land claimed by Jews and Palestinians, who seek self- determination.
"It was on these grounds that President Abbas stood with a courageous peacemaker, then-Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin".
The US president admired the "continued security coordination" between the PA and Israel, saying he was "actually very impressed and somewhat surprised" that "they get along unbelievably well".
He says "we want to create peace" and he believes "we will get it done".
President Donald Trump is expressing optimism for resumed peace talks between the Palestinians and Israel. He said that economic activity, the rule of law and condemnation of violence were all critical in order to make progress towards peace.
The approach could be based in part on the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which called for the establishment of a Palestinian state in Israeli-occupied territories in exchange for normalized relations between Israel and Arab countries. Abbas complimented Trump's negotiating skills and said he finally saw a path forward.
Successive presidents have declined to do so despite having congressional authorization under the Jerusalem Embassy Act, warning that the move could endanger US security and potentially upend peace talks between Israel and Palestine.
And in his White House meeting with Netanyahu on February 15, Trump raised another sensitive issue: Israeli settlements on land in dispute with the Palestinians.