Ahead of a meeting on May 3 with U.S. President Donald Trump, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is making gestures in the direction of peace talks.
“I am ready to meet the prime minister of Israel any time in Washington under the patronage of President Trump,” Abbas declared in an interview with Japanese newspaper Ashai Shimbun on Wednesday reported by The Jerusalem Post.
However, on the stumbling-block issues of Israeli policy in Yehudah and Shomron and the possible move of the U.S. embassy to Yerushalayim, Abbas did not appear in the least conciliatory.
Not only did he reiterate that only a building freeze in Yehudah and Shomron would be acceptable to the PA, but went on to assail what he called the “whole colonial-settlement regime aimed at imposing an apartheid regime in all of Palestine.”
Regarding the embassy move, which the White House has at least temporarily shelved, he told the Japanese paper, “We have been clear that we don’t want this to happen. We told the U.S. administration that, and they know our position. They also know the regional position on that matter.”
Abbas said they have a plan in case the Americans go ahead with the move, but did not say what it was.
In an effort to ingratiate himself with Mr. Trump, while sniping at former president Barack Obama, Abbas said that “We are glad that now the U.S. administration listens about us from us, and not from third parties… President Trump knows that we are committed to a Middle East that lives in peace, justice and dignity, based on [a] two-state solution, international legitimacy and Arab peace initiative.”