Washington : US President Donald Trump has told Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas that he is ready to act as a “mediator or facilitator” for brokering peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians, as he exuded confidence that a deal to end their protracted conflict could be struck.

Just two and a half months after he received Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Trump welcomed Abbas and ushered him into the Oval Office for their talks. In their first meeting, Trump and Abbas discussed the advancement of the Middle East peace process and the strengthening of US-Palestinian relations, the White House said in a statement. “Trump and Abbas reaffirmed the commitment of both the US and the Palestinian Authority to achieve a genuine and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians,” it said. Trump stressed that he is personally committed to helping the Israelis and Palestinians achieve a comprehensive peace, and that any peace settlement can only be the product of direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.   The US President expressed his appreciation for Abbas’ unambiguous support for a negotiated settlement of the conflict. Trump also offered himself as a “mediator, arbiter or facilitator” to help reach a peace agreement between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but said, “any agreement cannot be imposed by the US or any other nations.” “We will get it done,” Trump said, exuding confidence of facilitating a deal. pti

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