Friday 24 November 2017 
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Trump to meet with Abbas, Netanyahu on sidelines of UN gathering

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month, Haaretz reported Wednesday quoting local officials.

 

US President Donald Trump is expected to meet with Israeli and Palestinian leaders on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York later this month, Haaretz reported Wednesday quoting local officials.

 

Among topics Trump will discuss with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas are ways to move forward the stalled 'peace' talks between both sides, the report said.

 

The leaders are also expected to discuss Syria and the Iran nuclear deal.

 

Senior Palestinian officials told the newspaper that the upcoming meeting was one of the factors that convinced Abbas to allow the Trump administration to continue in efforts to broker an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians. They also said that although the US has not yet unveiled a timetable for peace negotiations, it could happen before the end of the year.

 

“The Americans said they need more time to draft something and asked Abu Mazen not to make international moves like joining additional UN agencies or launching proceedings at the International Criminal Court in The Hague,” one official explained to Haaretz, using Abbas's nickname.

 

“Abu Mazen acceded to this request in the hope that during the coming months, the administration really will present a plan or a position that could constitute a real basis for restarting the diplomatic process.”

 

Though he visited Israel once, Trump has so far largely relied on Middle East peace envoy and son-in-law Jared Kushner to conduct direct talks with Israeli and Palestinian officials.

 

Kushner visited Israel and Ramallah last month together with Trump aide Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser Dina Powell.

 

Abbas told Kushner that Palestinians "highly appreciate the efforts of President Trump, who announced from the outset that he will work on a historic peace deal."

 

Previous US governments have committed to an independent Palestinian state, but in February Trump broke with longstanding US policy by saying he would be happy with either a one-state or two-state offer.




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