MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Abbas' statement on his readiness for talks with Israel comes for the second time over one month. On April 19, he told in an interview to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, that he was willing to meet with Israel's prime minister in the United States.
"We affirmed to [Trump] that we are ready to cooperate with him and meet the Israeli prime minister under his auspices in order to make peace," Abbas said at a joint press conference with German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, as quoted by The Jerusalem Post newspaper.
On Wednesday, a meeting between Abbas and Trump took place in the White House. During the talks, Trump said he was committed to helping Israel and the Palestinians reach peace. According to Thursday's statement by the White House, Trump is expected to visit the Palestinian Authority during a trip to the Middle East later in May.
Over the decades, Palestinians have been seeking diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, which is partially occupied by Israel, and the Gaza Strip. The Israeli government refuses to recognize Palestine as an independent political and diplomatic entity and continues to build settlements in the occupied areas, despite objections from the United Nations.
The recent direct peace talks between the countries collapsed in 2014.
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