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Trump promotes his goal of Middle East peace, offers no details

24 May 2017

During his lightning visit to Israel, US President Donald Trump said all the right things to leave Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ministers cheering like they were pubescent teens at a Justin Bieber show.

But while Trump spoke in generalities about the goal, Abbas laid out the specifics of Palestinian demands - which all have been supported by the Arabs and rejected by Israel through decades of unsuccessful peace negotiations shepherded by American presidents.

He personally addressed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and said that after meeting with "my very good friend, Benjamin", he can say that Netanyahu "is reaching for peace" too.

"I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace, and bring new hope to the region and its people", Trump said.

Both world leaders said that they were optimistic that they might be able to work together for peace in Israel and indicated an interested in striking a deal between Israel and Palestine.

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In public remarks in the West Bank town of Bethlehem and in Jerusalem, Trump avoided mention of a two-state solution to the Palestinian conflict. The US leader already visited Israel, Saudi Arabia and is heading next to Italy, Belgium and the Vatican.

Trump is expected to hold around 40 minutes of talks with Abbas, whom he met at the White House earlier this month, before the two issue separate statements.

"It's not easy. I have heard it is one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we are going to get there eventually".

The initiative was most recently re-confirmed by Arab foreign ministers at a summit in the Jordanian Dead Sea resort of Sweimeh in March hosted by Jordanian King Abdullah II, and attended by Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Egypt's president Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi as well as head of Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.

Trump arrived at the Presidential palace in Bethlehem in the morning after travelling there by auto from Jerusalem.

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But Rubio said some definitions of "peace" aren't acceptable to Israel or the U.S. And I had a meeting this morning with President Abbas and can tell you that the Palestinians are ready to reach for peace. The PA, however, does not recognize Israel as a Jewish state and has repeatedly refused to do so. Just a few hours after visiting the Western Wall, the background image of Trump's personal Twitter account was changed to feature a photo of the president with his hand on the Kotel.

Back in Israel, the President visited the Yad Vashem Memorial and laid a wreath at a site where ashes from Holocaust victims are buried.

But during the president's visit to the Israel Museum on Tuesday, the live stream called the location simply "Jerusalem".

"The most important thing is that all parties agree on the way forward that President Trump gives us what we need, which is political support and fair mediation keeping an equal distance from ll parties, and performing what we all need which is a third party that would implement the vision that has been endorsed by the global community", he said.

JNS.org is an independent, non-profit news agency committed to growing the coverage of Israel news and broader global Jewish news.

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