US president aims to host a conference this summer, and has tasked envoy Greenblatt with making it happen, report says
President Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to members of the media as he greets Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 3, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Among the issues reportedly discussed during Monday’s 150-minute meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Egyptian counterpart, Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, were “ideas” for a possible Israeli-Palestinian peace summit to be held in Washington this coming summer.
While the initiative is in its beginning stages, the discussions complemented the recent meetings US Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt held with Arab leaders, American diplomatic sources told the London-based al-Hayat newspaper in a report Tuesday morning.
At the Arab League Summit in Jordan last week, Greenblatt told Arab foreign ministers that Trump was committed to reaching a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians that would “reverberate” throughout the Middle East and the world.
Greenblatt attended the summit as an “observer,” meeting with ministers of Jordan, Egypt and Qatar on its sidelines, as well as with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
During the summit Sissi said that his country had “sought and continues to seek a comprehensive and just solution to this issue, based on the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
During their Monday sit-down, which was characterized as “warm” and “positive,” Sissi told Trump, “You, Mr. President, can find a solution” to the Israeli-Palestinian impasse, pledging his country’s full support for any effort that would bring about a resolution.
The Egyptian president said peace between Israel and the Palestinians would be “the deal of the century,” echoing language used by Trump.
“You have a great friend and ally in the United States and in me,” Trump told Sissi, sweeping aside his predecessor’s concerns about democratic abuses in Egypt.
According to the Dubai-based al-Khaleej Times, Sissi and Jordan’s King Abdullah II were to present Trump with a framework for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal during their respective visits to the White House this week.
Abdullah’s White House visit is scheduled for Wednesday.
The initiative would reportedly start with a series of gestures, including a long-delayed release of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel and a complete moratorium on all Israeli settlement building in the West Bank.
Trump would then respond to the Jordanian-Egyptian initiative during his meeting with PA President Mahmoud Abbas, tentatively scheduled for later this month in Washington.
While al-Khaleej also reported that Trump is aiming to host an international peace conference, the Dubai paper suggested it would be held in September.
Tamar Pileggi and Dov Lieber contributed to this report