US President Donald Trump will reportedly meet Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly later this month.
According to Israeli newspaper Haaretz, a senior White House official said Trump intended to meet “a long list of world leaders on a wide range of issues” during the General Assembly session. Israeli and Palestinian officials told the paper this would include Netanyahu and Abbas.
Should Trump meet with the two leaders, it would be his first meetings with the pair since his visit to the region in May.
Unnamed Israeli and Palestinian officials cited by Haaretz said that the meetings will take place between 17-19 September, and the US president is expected to speak directly with Netanyahu and Abbas about “his ideas for a peace initiative”.
According to Haaretz, senior Palestinian officials said Trump’s advisors told Abbas that the president wants to meet him during the General Assembly, and that “this was one of the things that convinced Abbas to accede to the American request to give the White House a chance to try to make progress”.
One unnamed Palestinian official said that Abbas agreed not to launch initiatives aimed at joining additional UN agencies “in the hope that during the coming months, the administration really will present a plan or a position that could constitute a real basis for restarting the diplomatic process”.
A senior White House official claimed that both King Abdullah of Jordan and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia called Abbas to encourage him to give the American move a chance, following regional visits by administration officials Jared Kushner and Jason Greenblatt.
Haaretz added that “instead of resuming his international campaign during the UN General Assembly, Abbas will make do with delivering a forceful, scathing speech”.
Source: Middle East Monitor