Abbas hopeful after Trump meeting

The report also criticized the current White House administration's policies, condemning US President Donald Trump's leadership as "mercurial and unpredictable" and said that the United Kingdom had to stop relying on the American government in forming its own Middle East policy.

The Palestinians want to set up a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, lands Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war.

The source of Trump's optimism was not immediately apparent.

A number of Trump administration officials have strong ties to Israeli leaders, and the White House has appeared to break from longstanding US support of a two-state solution.

Like previous US leaders, Trump faces numerous obstacles in the long-shot bid.

Over the course of his campaign, Trump hinted at dropping the traditional two-state solution past presidents have supported (he also mulled moving the USA embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, the disputed holy city claimed by both Palestinians and Israelis).

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The report went on to claim that Israel's settlement enterprise was the particular issue hindering the peace process, "specifically the rapid expansion of settlements beyond the agreed 1967 borders of Israel".

The Palestinian leader expressed his support for a two-state solution to the conflict and the long-held Palestinian desire for a capital in East Jerusalem, welcoming Trump's role as a mediator in peace negotiations.

As he turned to the Palestinian leader he said: "I think there's a very, very good chance, and I think you feel the same way" the meeting between the two leaders didn't seem for the media as a promising foundation stone for future peace deals as most experts and analysts are undermining Mr.Trump's understanding of the magnitude of the conflict and its dimensions. Palestinians are losing hope in getting an independent country and an end to the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Abbas has said the issue was not discussed in his talks with Trump. 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. Three Republican senators urged a halt to such payments in a letter to Trump that reflected widespread opinion in Congress. As Abbas and Trump met, several thousand Palestinians attended a solidarity rally for the prisoners, with speakers calling for a new campaign of civil disobedience against Israeli rule.

The Israeli Prime Minister's Office had no immediate reaction to the Trump Abbas statements. "It's clear to any intelligent person that Abbas isn't interested in peace", she said. Only a two-state solution, Abbas said, would allow Palestinians to focus on fighting terrorism and enable Arab states to establish normal relations with Israel.

This isn't the first time Trump has signaled willingness to have a hand in peace negotiations, though he emphasized that any agreement must come from the Israelis and Palestinians themselves, and "cannot be imposed by the United States or by any other nation". "There's such hatred, but hopefully there won't be such hatred for very long".

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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