Trump invites Abbas to the White House
President Donald Trump invited Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to the White House.
Abbas and Trump spoke on Friday and a Palestinian Authority spokesman soon after reported the invitation, saying the meeting would be aimed at reviving the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, which has been dormant since 2014.
Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman, confirmed the invitation later Friday but did not add details.
Trump met at the White House last month with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a meeting both leaders said would lead to improved ties after eight years of tension between Netanyahu and President Barack Obama.
Netanyahu, however, appeared taken aback at Trump’s request during a press conference that Israel stop settlement building for now. Israelis are also wary of U.S. leaders assuming an oversized role in peace-making, while Palestinians have traditionally welcomed it.
Trump has said he is open to outcomes to the conflict that don’t necessarily end in two separate states. The Palestinian Authority still embraces a two-state outcome, as does Netanyahu. Trump’s retreat from the two-state solution have led some Israeli Cabinet members on Netanyahu’s right to call for annexing portions of the West Bank.