Abbas Voices Commitment to Two-State Solution, Arab Peace Initiative

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Trump motorcaded to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

"Palestinians are ready to reach for peace", Trump said.

The Saudi deal, to be phased over 10 years, was announced on Saturday as US President Donald Trump began a two-day visit to the Gulf state before travelling on to Israel.

"Peace can never take root in an environment where violence is tolerated, funded and even rewarded", Mr. Trump said in reference to the Palestinians' practice of paying cash to terrorists or their families for attacks against Israelis.

I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace, and bring new hope to the region and its people.

Palestinian protesters shout slogans and hold placards outside the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during a demonstration in support of prisoners refusing food in Israeli jails, on May 23, 2017, during a visit of the USA president to the West Bank town.

The US president met with Abbas in the biblical city of Bethlehem, which serves as a visual relic of the complexities of the region's conflict.

Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman said on Wednesday he was uneasy over a massive US-Saudi arms deal announced at the weekend, saying it was part of a "crazy" regional arms race. The U.S. leader likely shied away from delving into further detail because of more pressing problems he faces at home and overseas, including growing allegations over his ties with Russia, North Korea's nuclear threat and the bloody civil war in Syria.

"As the president said during his visit to Yad Vashem, reiterating the powerful message he gave to the World Jewish Congress last month, the State of Israel is a beacon of light that arose from the darkest depths of the Holocaust and the attempts to wipe out the Jewish people".

But in his public remarks, Trump steered clear of any such language, and did not mention what has been the goal of USA diplomacy for two decades: a state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state co-existing side-by-side. "I will call them from now on losers because that's what they are". "Never mentioned the word 'Israel'".

Did President Donald Trump's visit to The Wall show that he believes that the site belongs to Israel?

"So we are telling you right now that Iran will not have nuclear weapons", the president added, standing alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Mr Trump is in Israel on the second stop in his nine-day tour of the Middle East and Europe.

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