Bethlehem, (IANS) US President Donald Trump met Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Bethlehem on Tuesday, a day after promising to make a renewed effort at peace between the Palestinians and Israelis.
“I am truly hopeful that America can help Israel and the Palestinians forge peace and bring new hope to the region and its people,” Trump said during a joint appearance with Abbas.
“I also firmly believe that if Israel and the Palestinians can make peace, it will begin a process of peace all throughout the Middle East, and that would be an amazing accomplishment,” the US President said on the last day of his Middle East visit.
Trump arrived in Bethlehem in a motorcade, crossing a checkpoint at Israel’s controversial separation wall, and was greeted by Abbas and other dignitaries outside the presidential palace, The Washington Examiner reported.
Trump labelled Bethlehem, “a precious city” and said he intended “to do everything he could” to achieve a peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.
After meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the President said “we can truly achieve a more peaceful future for this region and for people of all faiths and all beliefs and frankly all over the world.”
Israel and the Palestinians have not held direct talks for more than three years and Trump acknowledged it was “one of the toughest deals of all”.
Palestinians held angry protests against the visit in both West Bank and Gaza, according to a BBC report.
Abbas said he welcomed Trump’s “noble and possible mission”.
Later on Tuesday, Trump will return to Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and give a speech at the Israel Museum before wrapping up his two-day stop.