World

Trump hopeful for Israel-Palestine peace

BETHLEHEM US President Donald Trump talked up the prospects of peace between Israelis and Palestinians yesterday, saying he believed both sides were committed to a historic deal.

After an hour of talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, Mr Trump said: "I am committed to trying to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, and I intend to do everything I can to help them achieve that goal.

"Mr Abbas assures me he is ready to work towards that goal in good faith, and Israeli Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu has promised the same. I look forward to working with these leaders towards a lasting peace."

The 50th anniversary of Israel's capture of territories that Palestinians seek for a state is next month.

While Mr Trump has spoken often about his desire to achieve what he has dubbed the "ultimate deal", he has not fleshed out any strategy his administration might have towards achieving it.

He also faces difficulties at home, where he is struggling to contain a scandal after firing Mr James Comey as Federal Bureau of Investigation director two weeks ago.

He has appointed his son-in-law, Mr Jared Kushner, as a senior adviser on brokering an agreement. Mr Jason Greenblatt, formerly a lawyer in Mr Trump's real estate group, has taken the day-to-day role of liaising with officials and leaders in the region on the nitty-gritty of any solution. - REUTERS

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