“The president emphasized his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal,” the White House said in a readout of the phone conversation between the two leaders. “The president noted that such a deal would not only give Israelis and Palestinians the peace and security they deserve, but that it would reverberate positively throughout the region and the world.”
The president “underscored that such a peace agreement must be negotiated directly between the two parties, and that the United States will work closely with Palestinian and Israeli leadership to make progress toward that goal,” the White House said.
“The president noted that the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other,” the statement said.
Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rdainah said Abbas “stressed the commitment to peace as a strategic choice to establish a Palestinian State alongside the state of Israel,” according to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency.
Palestinians are concerned at the more favorable approach shown by Washington toward Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu since Mr. Trump came to power. Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump have spoken on the phone at least twice since the inauguration, and Mr. Netanyahu visited Washington last month.
Palestinian officials indicated Abbas would emphasize his concern about Israeli settlement-building on occupied land and the need for a two-state solution to the conflict.— This article is based on wire-service reports.