Trump backs Palestinian ‘self-determination’

Dhaka,  Sun,  23 July 2017
Published : 14 May 2017, 20:39:20
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Trump backs Palestinian ‘self-determination’

WASHINGTON, May 14: President Donald Trump will express support for Palestinian "self-determination” during a Middle East trip this month, a senior aide said recently, suggesting Trump is open to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict despite not having publicly embraced the idea so far, according to media reports.

The comment by US national security adviser HR McMaster came just nine days after a White House visit by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in which Trump vowed to seek a historic peace deal but stopped short of explicitly recommitting to the eventual goal of Pal- estinian statehood, a longtime bedrock of US policy.

Previewing Trump’s first foreign trip, McMaster also said he would use a visit to Saudi Arabia, his first stop, to encourage Arab and Muslim partners to take "bold new steps” to confront those from Iran, Daesh, Al-Qaeda and Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s government "who per- petuate chaos and violence." 

Trump’s meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, currently due to be held separately, will be closely watched for whether he begins to articulate a cohesive strategy to revive long-stalled negotiations. 

Trump plans, in talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to "reaffirm America's unshakeable bond to the Jewish state" and in a meeting with Abbas to "express his desire for dignity and self-determination for the Palestin- ians,” said McMaster, a decorated Army general with extensive Middle East experience. 

Trump is expected to meet Abbas, the Western-backed head of the Palestinian Authority, in Bethlehem in the West Bank, Palestinian sources say. Palestinians were disappointed when Trump failed to mention a two-state solution in a joint appearance with Abbas on May 3.

 
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