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Donald Trump met with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, in the White House on Wednesday in hopes of bringing peace between the Palestinians and Israelis, who have been quarreling for generations over a small piece of land.
“I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said in an interview with Reuters last week. “There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians—none whatsoever.”
Trump is confident he can get the job done, despite not sharing how this goal or possible agreement would be achieved. He said he would do “whatever is necessary” to come to a consensus between the two and believes both are willing to make a deal.
“We will get it done,” Trump said. “We will be working so hard to get it done. It’s been a long time.”
Abbas, 82, praised Trump’s “courageous leadership” and “great negotiating ability.” He is hopeful in Trump’s inclination to build an agreement to finally resolve this conflict.
“We believe that we can be partners with you to bring out a historic peace,” Abbas said.
Abbas expressed his hope to end Israel’s occupation of Palestine in order to achieve freedom.
“It’s time for Israel to end its occupation of our people and of our land,” he said. “After 50 years, we are the only remaining people in the world who still live under occupation. We are aspiring and want to achieve our freedom and our dignity and our right to self-determination.”
Back in February, during a news conference with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump encouraged Netanyahu to refrain on new settlements in the occupied West Bank to lessen the chance of further complications in negotiations. He also expressed he would be fine with either a two-state or a one-state solution, as long as both parties were content with the arrangement.
Abbas, however, reiterated the demand to achieve the two-state solution.
“Our strategic and sole option is to achieve the two-state solution,” he said. “The state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital to live side by side in peace, safety, and stability together with the state of Israel along 1967 borders.”
Reporting from the White House, Al Jazeera’s James Bays claims the meeting didn’t bring any clarity on the long-running conflict.
“We know what they want, but we don’t know how they are going to get there,” he said. “Trump is not telling us how he is intending to achieve the peace he is promising.”
Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law and senior adviser, have committed to an outside-in approach in which the U.S. works with Arab states to negotiate peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. Although these tactics have been unsuccessful in the past, Trump is confidently dedicating to pulling off such a deal.
“Over the course of my lifetime, I’ve always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Trump said. “Let’s see if we can prove them wrong.”
Featured Image via Flickr/Olivier Pacteau