President Mahmud Abbas said Tuesday he was ready to meet Israel’s prime minister as part of peace efforts by Donald Trump, who is expected to visit the Palestinian territories “soon”.
The US president is expected in Israel later this month as part of his first foreign trip and Abbas said “we are looking forward to his visit soon to Bethlehem” in the occupied West Bank, with speculation it will occur on May 23.
Abbas met the US president in Washington last week for their first face-to-face talks.
“We told him that we were ready to collaborate with him and meet the Israeli PM (Benjamin Netanyahu) under his auspices to build peace,” Abbas told reporters as he met with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
Trump announced last week that his first foreign trip as president will include stops in Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican — the spiritual centres of Islam, Judaism and Catholicism.
The stop in Israel is expected on May 22, though it has not been officially confirmed.
A senior Trump aide last week did not rule out the possibility of a presidential visit to the West Bank, but said that it was likely to be contingent on security and Abbas taking concrete steps toward peace.—AFP