Abbas to Trump's Envoy: I'm Committed to Fighting Terror, Curbing Incitement

Jason Greenblatt told Abbas that Trump is committed to working with both sides. Senior Israeli official says Netanyahu raised issue of establishing new settlement during his meeting with Greenblatt.

Jason Greenblatt and Mahmoud Abbas, March 14, 2017.
Jason Greenblatt and Mahmoud Abbas, March 14, 2017. ABBAS MOMANI/AFP

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas assured U.S. envoy Jason Greenblatt during their meeting in Ramallah on Tuesday that he is committed to fighting violence and terror as well as moving against incitement by Palestinians, the U.S. Consulate General announced.

Greenblatt told Abbas that U.S. President Donald Trump is committed to working with both sides "to achieve a lasting peace through direct negotiations." Greenblatt "emphasized the importance of all parties working to deescalate tensions."

A senior Palestinian official aware of the details of Abbas’ meeting with Greenblatt said that Abbas together with members of his team – including the secretary general of the PLO executive committee Saeb Erekat, the head of Palestinian intelligence Majid Faraj and the new Palestinian ambassador to the United States, Husan Zomlot – spoke at length about the need for an Israeli government commitment to an end to the conflict and an agreement. The official said Greenblatt “heard everything he had to hear from the president Abu Mazen [Abbas] on the conduct of Netanyahu and his government and also that the only proposal that needs to be on the table is the two-state formula based on the '67 borders.” 

According to the official, no plan for renewed negotiations was discussed at the meeting. Rather, an up-to-date presentation of the situation was given. At the end of this month, Zomlot will be leaving for Washington and will begin talks to prepare for Abbas’ visit to the U.S. capital. No date has been set at this point for the visit and the sides did not discuss the conditions for the renewal of negotiations.

The American consulate announcement also stated that during the meeting Abbas and Greenblatt expressed a commitment by the United States and the PA to advance a real, sustainable peace between Israel and the Palestinians. Abbas told Greenblatt that "under President Trump's leadership a historic peace deal is possible."

"President Abbas assured Mr. Greenblatt that he is fully committed to creating an atmosphere that is conducive to making peace and would heighten his outreach efforts to the Israeli public," the consulate general announced.

A senior Israeli official noted that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu raised in his meeting on Monday with the U.S. envoy the issue of establishing a new settlement for the evacuees of the illegal Amona outpost.

"Netanyahu stuck to his promise to establish the new settlement," the senior official said.