President Donald Trump stressed his desire to broker a peace deal in the Middle East as he was joined Wednesday at the White House by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Trump offered himself as a “mediator, arbiter or facilitator” to help reach a peace agreement between Israel and Palestine, but said, “Any agreement cannot be imposed by the United States or any other nations.”
Despite the decades of failed efforts to achieve a lasting peace in the region, Trump said his administration has a “very, very good chance” to get it done. “And I think you feel the same way,” Trump said to Abbas, standing next to him.
Trump noted that over the course of his life he’d heard “that perhaps the toughest deal to make” is the one between Israel and Palestine. “Let’s see if we can prove them wrong, okay?” he said, concluding a joint statement with his Palestinian counterpart.
But sitting down to lunch several minutes later, Trump wondered if maybe it wouldn’t be so tough after all. “Let’s see if we can find the solution. It’s something, frankly, maybe not as difficult as people have thought over the years. But we need two willing parties.”
At one point, Abbas, who read a statement in Arabic, said in English, “We have hope.”
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