Trump invites Palestinian leader Abbas to White House 'soon'

AFP , Friday 10 Mar 2017

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (Photo: AP)

US President Donald Trump has invited Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to visit the White House "soon", the official Palestinian news agency Wafa said on Friday.

During their first phone call since Trump's inauguration in January, the US president invited Abbas "to visit the White House soon to discuss ways to resume the (Palestinian-Israeli) political process," Wafa quoted Abbas's spokesman as saying.

The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said that Trump stressed his "commitment to a peace process that would lead to a real peace between Palestinians and Israelis", Wafa reported.

Abbas told Trump that peace was a "strategic choice" for the Palestinian people that should lead to the "establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel".

Trump received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House in mid-February.

At that meeting, Trump broke with decades of US policy by saying he was not bound to the two-state solution for ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The peace process has been deadlocked since April 2014 following the collapse of indirect negotiations led by then US secretary of state John Kerry.

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