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Abbas arrives in Washington ahead of meeting with Trump

May 2, 2017 1:25 P.M. (Updated: May 2, 2017 6:02 P.M.)
WASHINGTON (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived in Washington D.C. on Monday, and is scheduled to meet with US president Donald Trump on Wednesday.

Abbas will be welcomed by Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster, and a number of other officials.

Accompanying Abbas are chief of the Palestinian Authority (PA)’s general intelligence Majid Faraj, chairman of the Palestinian Investment Fund Muhammad Mustafa, Secretary General of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Saeb Erekat, and Deputy Prime Minister Ziyad Abu Amr.

Abbas and Trump are expected to hold a one-on-one meeting, followed by a joint press conference and subsequent meeting between Abbas, his escorts, and Trump and members of his administration.

The Palestinian president is also scheduled to have separate meetings with Tillerson and other US officials.

During his visit to the US, Abbas is also expected to host a delegation representing the Palestinian and Jewish-American communities, as well as ambassadors of Arab countries to the US.

On the issue of Palestine, Trump has remained largely elusive, saying in February that when it came to a solution for the decades-long Israeli-Palestinian conflict he could “live with either” a one- or two-state solution, in a significant departure from the US’ publicly held position in favor of a two-state solution to the conflict.

Trump has come forward as a vocal supporter of Israel, made the moving of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem a centerpiece in his campaign promises, and was quick to express his opposition to a UN Security Council resolution that harshly condemned illegal settlements.

However, documents released by Foreign Policy magazine late last month showed that Trump’s 2018 budget for the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip would see an increase of US foreign aid by 4.5 percent, which would provide up to $215 million of American aid during 2018.

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