Abbas says talks with Trump positive, if short on specifics

President Donald Trump's Wednesday meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas appeared to go off without a hitch - but what happened hours after the visit ended has left some scratching their heads.

Abbas said his government was teaching its young people peace.

President Trump has previously criticized the Palestinian authority for teaching their children hate "from a very young age". Most observers were quick to note that the president's prediction of success was not backed up by any plan of action or reason for his optimism.

But receiving Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the White House early in his term, Trump also showed he was willing to press Israel on West Bank settlement building, a longstanding concern of Palestinians and much of the world.

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USA officials had said ahead of Wednesday's meeting that Trump would press Abbas to end payments to families of Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails. In addition, leading Republican Senators wrote a letter to President Trump on Tuesday asking he support the Taylor Force Act, a bill which would cut United States funding to the PA if they continue funding terrorism.

A group of three influential Republican Senators - Marco Rubio, Tom Cotton and Lindsey Graham - have called on Trump to ask Abbas to stop funding Palestinian prisoners and their families.

On Thursday, Mr Netanyahu said he looks forward to discussing with Mr Trump the "best ways to advance peace".

But he also said outsiders can not impose terms on the parties - which some see as a coded warning that there are limits to the USA willingness to invest political capital.

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SIEGEL: Well, joining us to talk about Palestinian reaction to today's White House meeting is Daoud Kuttab.

The accords marked the start of the Oslo process, that is aimed at achieving a peace treaty and to fulfil the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination".

In a press conference after their meeting President Trump talked in broad terms about how the U.S. could help Israelis and Palestinians reach a peace agreement.

He warned that Trump's vision of resolving the conflict might be close to the Israeli vision "which might drop the option of the two-state solution".

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Hosting Mr Abbas at the White House on Wednesday, Mr Trump said he would do "whatever is necessary" to bring together the Palestinians and Israelis, who have been warring over the same small patch of land for generations. In the past, Abbas balked at the idea of such a summit, saying it would be pointless without general agreement on the framework of negotiations and a significant curb in settlement construction. During that visit Trump also made headlines by saying he "could live with" either a separate Palestinian state or a single state as a peaceful outcome. Most Israelis want all of Jerusalem as their capital and reject a full return to 1967 borderlines as a threat to their security.

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