Trump invites Palestinian leader Abbas to White House

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Washington:  Donald Trump has invited Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas to visit the White House sometime soon, both sides said after the first phone call between the pair since the US president took office in January.

Trump invited Abbas “to visit the White House soon to discuss ways to resume the (Palestinian-Israeli) political process,” the official Palestinian news agency Wafa quoted Abbas’s spokesman as saying.

The spokesman, Nabil Abu Rudeina, said that Trump stressed his “commitment to a peace process that would lead to a real peace between Palestinians and Israelis”, Wafa reported.

Abbas told Trump that peace was a “strategic choice” for the Palestinian people that should lead to the “establishment of a Palestinian state alongside Israel”.

In Washington, the White House said Trump “emphasised his personal belief that peace is possible and that the time has come to make a deal.”

“The president noted that the United States cannot impose a solution on the Israelis and Palestinians, nor can one side impose an agreement on the other,” said a statement from Trump’s spokesman Sean Spicer.

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