Palestinian President Abbas Told Trump He Is Ready for 'Immediate' Negotiations With Israel

After meeting, Trump said in speech that Abbas and the Palestinians are ready for peace

U.S. President Donald Trump and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas shake hands after their meeting at the Presidential Palace in the West Bank city of Bethlehem May 23, 2017.
JONATHAN ERNST/REUTERS

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas told American President Donald Trump during their meeting on Tuesday that he is "ready to begin negotiating immediately" with Israel, according to a summary of the meeting released by the White House late Tuesday night. 

Trump, it should be noted, said in a speech he gave in Jerusalem shortly after the meeting that Abbas and the Palestinians are ready for peace.

The White House added that during the meeting, "President Trump again stressed his belief that peace between Israelis and Palestinians is possible. President Trump and President Abbas reaffirmed their commitment to reach for a genuine and lasting peace between Palestinians and Israelis."

The last sentence of the White House summary said that "President Trump and President Abbas agreed to continue their discussions on the issue of payments to Palestinian prisoners and the need to improve the Palestinian economy." 

The Trump administration so far hasn't directly called on Abbas to stop the Palestinian Authority's payments to families of convicted terrorists, but this is the second time that Trump has raised the issue in a meeting with Abbas.