Trump-Abbas White House summit said set for May 3

A Palestinian official said Sunday that the much-touted first meeting between Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump will take place on May 3 in the White House.

Senior Fatah official Azzam al-Ahmad also told the Jordanian newspaper Al Ghad that a Palestinian delegation will head to Washington on April 23 for preliminary meetings with the administration.

There was no immediate confirmation of the date from the White House or the Palestinian Authority.

“President Abbas will go to discuss the vital political and economic issue, with an emphasis on confirming the two-state solution, completely ending settlement construction and the occupation, and establishing a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders, with occupied Jerusalem as its capital,” al-Ahmad said.

Trump spoke to Abbas for the first time over the phone in March and invited him to the White House.

Abbas later told US special peace envoy Jason Greenblatt that he believed a “historic” peace deal with Israel was possible with Trump in office.

Greenblatt told Arab foreign ministers in late March that Trump was committed to reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that would “reverberate” throughout the Middle East and the world.

In contrast, Hanan Ashrawi, a member of the PLO Executive Committee, said Saturday that the Israeli right had penetrated the American administration.

“We used to say there were settlers in the Israeli coalition born of the far right that detests Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims. But today we say there are settlers inside the White House,” she said, in comments reported by the Ynet news website.

“The administration has adopted the extreme Israeli position to the right of [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu that supports the settlements.”

Greenblatt has made two trips to the region since Trump assumed the presidency in January in an effort to jumpstart the long-dormant peace negotiations.

During those visits, he met with multiple stakeholders in the conflict, including Netanyahu and Abbas. Trump hosted Netanyahu at the White House in February.

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