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Abbas discusses US-led peace efforts with Saudi crown prince, Qatari Emir

Aug. 26, 2017 3:32 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 27, 2017 7:28 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Following a meeting with Jared Kushner, US President Donald Trump's senior adviser, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas discussed the outcome of the meeting and ongoing US-led peace efforts via phone conversations with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman and Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Bin Hamad Al Thani.

Official Palestinian-Authority (PA)- owned Wafa news agency reported that Abbas briefed both leaders in two separate conversations on Friday, a day after his meeting with Kushner and the US delegation.

“The three leaders agreed on keeping up coordination and consultations in order to push peace process forward,” Wafa reported.

Wafa previously reported of the meeting that Abbas expressed his appreciation for “President Trump’s efforts to strike a historic peace deal, a statement he repeated more than one time during our meetings in Washington, Riyadh, and Bethlehem.”

Meanwhile, diplomatic sources reportedly told international Arabic newspaper al-Hayat that Kushner had told Abbas this week that "stopping settlement construction is impossible because it will cause the collapse of the Netanyahu government."

The report also claimed that Kushner expressed openness to the two-state solution but refused adhere to 1967 borders, and said the lines should be drawn through direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Reports emerged this week that during a meeting with the Israeli left-wing Meretz party, Abbas expressed his confusion regarding the US stance on Israel and Palestine, saying he “can’t understand” the Trump administration’s position on the conflict.

"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.

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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