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Palestinian leader Abbas optimistic about peace deal under Trump
Trump and Abbas may still be very much at odds of what that deal would entail, however. Later that day, Abbas urged the 193-member UN body to put forth a timetable for ending the "Israeli occupation of Palestine."
By Wilson Soto
Contributor
Feb 17, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — President Trump's diplomacy got a few words of praise Wednesday from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who said that he feels confident that the region is "on the verge of peace" thanks to Trump's diplomatic efforts. Abbas made these statements after meeting in person with Trump during the UN General Assembly's gathering in New York this week.

Abbas noted that Palestinian officials and Trump's team have met more than 20 times since Trump took office in January. He said that he could see that Trump is seriously engaged in the issue.

"If this is any proof to anything ... it attests to the seriousness of your Excellency, Mr. President, to achieve the deal of the century in the Middle East during this year or in the coming months, God willing," Abbas said through an interpreter.

Trump and Abbas may still be very much at odds of what that deal would entail, however. Later that day, Abbas urged the 193-member UN body to put forth a timetable for ending the "Israeli occupation of Palestine."

Trump said that he and his advisers were working hard on the issue, along with officials from Israel, Saudi Arabia, and other nations. The U.S. officials include Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, who traveled to the region recently to attempt to restart the peace talks. Jason Greenblatt, Trump's envoy for Israeli-Palestinian peace, and Dina Powell, deputy national security adviser, accompanied Kushner.

Trump is taking on a challenge that has gotten the best of every U.S. president over the last 40 years. The Obama administration's efforts toward Israeli-Palestinian peace broke down three years ago amid mutual recriminations.