(JNS.org) President Donald Trump is set to host Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas May 3 at the White House as he seeks to forge an elusive peace deal between the Israelis and Palestinians.
“They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said Wednesday.
Trump and Abbas spoke by phone in mid-March, when the U.S. leader invited Abbas to visit Washington. Later, Abbas met in Ramallah with Trump’s special envoy for international negotiations, Jason Greenblatt, telling him he believes a “historic” peace deal is possible under the guidance of Trump.
Direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians have been stalled since 2014. During his meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in February, Trump expressed openness to Israeli-Palestinian conflict resolutions other than a two-state solution, breaking with American presidential administrations' longstanding exclusive support for two states.
“I’m looking at two state and one state, and I like the one that both parties like…I can live with either one,” Trump said at the time.