Netanyahu: Abbas lied to President Trump

Palestinian president hopeful after talks with Trump

Palestinian president hopeful after talks with Trump

"Mr President, with you we have hope", Abbas told Trump in the Roosevelt room of the White House in the presence of a pool of reporters as he two leaders met for the first time.

Trump struck an optimistic note Wednesday, saying he believes an Israeli-Palestinian deal can be reached.

But under pressure at home to avoid major concessions, the 82-year-old leader said: "It's about time for Israel to end its occupation", referring to Jewish settlement building in the West Bank.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that he "fervently shares" US President Donald Trump's commitment to advancing peace. He also expressed that his preferred solution was to return to the borders of 1967 between Israel and Palestine. The Netanyahu government, like those before it, have expanded settlements on war-won lands, despite USA appeals to curb construction. "We have hopes for President Trump", he said.

Trump further said that that the two sides must continue to build their partnership to counter and defeat terrorism. "They name their schools after mass murderers of Israelis and they pay terrorists", he said at the opening of a meeting with the Romanian prime minister in Jerusalem.

"We had planned to meet in Moscow, but he didn't show up", Abbas said, referring to Netanyahu in the context of Russian efforts to set up such a meeting past year.

'But we need two willing parties.

Jerusalem, which Israel claims as its age-old, united and "indivisible" capital, remains a key hurdle in the path of a negotiated settlement.

Another contentious issue: Trump's campaign promise to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

"I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is the deal between the Israelis and the Palestinians", Trump said. "But I think our job as a nation is to do everything humanly possible to bring Israel and the Palestinians and the entire Middle East - to the degree that we can - together". The bill was named for a USA citizen and veteran killed by a Palestinian terrorist in 2016 in Tel Aviv.

"You can't just pretend you only have to handle a few key issues and that's it", said David Makovsky, a member of Obama's negotiating team during the last talks, which collapsed in 2014. Some Palestinians said they were disappointed by the omission.

President Donald Trump has faced deep scepticism at home and overseas over his chances for any quick diplomatic breakthrough. On Wednesday, Ahmad Majdalan, a senior PLO official said in an interview on Israel Radio that in May 2014, Israeli negotiator Yitzchak Molcho, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat and U.S. secretary of state John Kerry signed a document allowing the Palestinians to pay terrorists.

Abbas is hamstrung by the fact that his Palestinian Authority does not control all Palestinian territory, since the militant Hamas movement seized control in the Gaza Strip in 2007.

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