Donald Trump: I'll get deal done on Middle East peace

President Trump plunged into the other side of Middle East peacemaking on Wednesday as he met for the first time with the Palestinian leader, Mahmoud Abbas, and committed himself to pulling off "the toughest deal" in the world.

Trump expressed his desire to have Palestinians and Israelis draw on the Oslo Accords that Abbas signed onto as the Palestinian negotiator in 1993 and said he hoped the Palestinian leader would soon sign "the final and most important peace agreement".

Speaking through a translator, Abbas echoed Trump's upbeat tone, saying, "We believe that we can ... be true partners to you to bring about a historic peace under your stewardship".

The last round of USA -brokered peace talks collapsed in 2014.

Mr Abbas' White House talks follow a February visit by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who moved quickly to reset ties after a combative relationship with Democratic President Barack Obama.

Palestinian officials had also expressed concern about remarks by Trump that the USA would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Abbas spoke through an interpreter and said: "We are coming into a new opportunity a new horizon that would enable us to bring about peace".

"As someone who's worked on this for the last 30 years, I don't think we've ever been at a lower point", he said ahead of the meeting. "There is no reason there's not peace between Israel and the Palestinians - none whatsoever".




"We will get this done", Trump vowed. White House aides later said he would back an agreement upon which the two parties agreed. Abbas said, however, that there could be no peace with the establishment of a secure Palestinian state.

Abbas implored Trump to understand the Palestinian perspective.

With the worldwide focus on Syria's bloody civil war and the threat posed by Islamic State, Palestinian officials have been keen to raise their cause up the White House agenda.

Trump's remarks came after he said in a joint statement with Abbas that the USA will readily act as a "mediator or an arbitrator or a facilitator" in the process, rather than a negotiator. Only a two-state solution, Abbas said, would allow Palestinians to focus on fighting terrorism and enable Arab states to establish normal relations with Israel. A recent poll suggests two-thirds of Palestinians want him to resign, unhappy with the results delivered by what they see as a corrupt PA.

The meeting comes amid the Trump administration's efforts to lay the groundwork for brokering a lasting peace between Palestine and Israel.

Both Trump and Abbas said a peace deal would go a long way to ending the instability that led to the rise of radical Islamic terrorists such as ISIS, which Abbas said "has nothing to do with our noble religion".

The peace process has been stalled since 2014, and there have been no serious attempts to restart negotiations.

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