President Donald Trump is seeking “a conflict-ending settlement” for Israelis and Palestinians, his spokesman Sean Spicer said on Wednesday.
The statement Wednesday by Sean Spicer, who was confirming plans for a May 3 visit to Washington by Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, is an indication that Trump is determined to extract a deal from both sides.
“They will use the visit to reaffirm the commitment of both the United States and the Palestinian leadership to pursuing and ultimately concluding a conflict-ending settlement between the Palestinians and Israel,” Spicer said in his opening remarks at the daily news briefing.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he wants a peace deal, but Cabinet officials to Netanyahu’s right favor unilateral actions, including annexing portions of the West Bank.
Trump, who hosted Netanyahu in February at the White House, retreated from an explicit U.S. endorsement of the two-state solution — U.S. policy for 15 years — but also surprised Netanyahu by asking him publicly to slow settlement expansion for a period.
One of Trump’s top foreign policy advisers, Jason Greenblatt, has spent time in the region in an intensive canvassing of the principals ahead of reviving peace talks.