Donald Trump committed himself to brokering peace in the Middle East as he hosted the president of Palestine at the White House Wednesday.
Trump, striking an optimistic note during his meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, pledged that "we will get this done". The deal would not just be about a peaceful, two-state solution, but also about solving the issue of refugees and prisoners "according to worldwide law".
Abbas was under pressure at home to avoid making major concessions to Trump, especially with an ongoing hunger strike by several hundreds of Palestinian detainees held by Israel and led by prominent leader Marwan Barghouti.
The US, Abbas and the Israelis "will be working so hard" to get a peace agreement that's "been a long time" coming, Trump vowed, turning to Abbas.
Abbas said that Palestinians wish to see a two-state solution based on 1967 borders with a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. Other actions include a Palestinian end to anti-Israel rhetoric and incitement of violence, said officials familiar with planning for the meeting.
Trump and Abbas also discussed ways to enhance security cooperation to assist the Palestinians in countering terrorism, as well as stimulating the Palestinian economy.
"I've always heard that perhaps the toughest deal to make is between the Israelis and the Palestinians", Mr Trump said on Wednesday.
"There can not be lasting peace unless the Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to violate - and violence and hate", Trump said.
A group of three influential Republican senators have called on Trump to ask Abbas to stop funding Palestinian prisoners and their families.
Trump noted that he and Abbas have spoken with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as well as other Israeli and Palestinian leaders about moving forward with the peace process, "which hopefully will lead to peace over the course of my lifetime". "Let's see if we can prove them wrong. OK?" Abbas was the signatory for the Palestinian Liberation Organization, and the agreement established the PA as a self-government body in 1994.
The president declared that he was ready to "help unlock" the economic potential for the Palestinian people on the road to a peace deal.
The US president "stressed that he is personally committed to helping 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 statement said. "I believe that we are capable under your leadership and your stewardship and your wisdom as well your great negotiating ability, I believe with the grace of God and with all of your effort, we believe that we can be partners, true partners to you to bring about a historic peace treaty", he said. Abbas said, however, that there could be no peace with the establishment of a secure Palestinian state.