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Abbas, Jordan's King Abdullah discuss peace process over telephone call

Aug. 23, 2017 10:42 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 23, 2017 10:42 P.M.)
President Mahmud Abbas addresses the United Nations General Assembly at the UN in New York, 2015 (AFP/Jewel Samad/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with Jordan’s King Abdullah on Wednesday over a telephone conversation, according to Jordanian news.  

The Jordan News Agency reported that Abdullah and Abbas had discussed efforts to relaunch peace talks between Palestinians and Israelis in the context of an upcoming visit by Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump’s son-in-law and chief advisor, as part of a US delegation to the region, which Abbas has reportedly already expressed doubts about.  

Reports emerged this week that during a meeting with the Israeli left-wing Meretz party, Abbas discussed previous meetings he had with US envoys, saying that while “he heard that they support a two-state solution to the conflict and a settlement construction freeze,” the officials have yet to state such demands publicly or to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"I have met with Trump envoys about 20 times since the beginning of his term as president of the United States," Haaretz quoted Abbas as saying, and that he still “can’t understand” the Trump administration’s position on the conflict.

Trump has repeatedly said peace between Israelis and Palestinians was something he could achieve as president. “I want to see peace with Israel and the Palestinians,” Trump said in April. "There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians -- none whatsoever.”

While Trump has maintained on many occasions that, under his auspices, the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict will be solved, his administration has painted a rather unclear picture regarding Trump’s plans in the region, while a number of high-profile US officials, including Kushner, are known to be staunch supporters of Israel.

In February, Trump said that when it came to a solution for the decades-long 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.

However, his elusiveness has not belied the fact that Trump and his administration have maintained their pro-Israel stance, despite stated efforts to renew the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which he said in the past was "not as difficult as people have thought over the years.”
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