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Palestinian delegation arrives in US to prepare upcoming Abbas-Trump meeting

April 23, 2017 10:33 P.M. (Updated: April 24, 2017 9:50 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian delegation left the occupied West Bank on Sunday for the United States in order to prepare for a meeting between Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and US President Donald Trump scheduled for May 3.

Sources told Ma’an that the delegation -- consisting of Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) Secretary-General Saeb Erekat, general intelligence chief Majid Faraj, and Palestine Investment Fund head Muhammad Mustafa -- would meet with White House, State Department, and national security officials to discuss the topics that will be tackled during the meeting of the two heads of state.

The delegation will return on Thursday evening and present the results of the visit to Abbas.

Meanwhile, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned what it called Israeli efforts to sabotage the Abbas-Trump meeting, notably slamming a recent interview by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with American channel Fox News.

During the interview, Netanyahu said Palestinians had a “doctrine of death,” and called on Palestinian authorities to stop transferring money to the families of Palestinians killed or imprisoned by Israel.

The ministry also condemned Israel's continuous illegal settlement expansion and use of violence against Palestinians, adding that it was completely confident of Abbas’s ability to successfully represent Palestinians and convey their suffering during the upcoming meeting in Washington, DC.

Abbas, meanwhile, traveled to Kuwait on Sunday and met with Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah al-Ahmad al Sabah, Crown Prince Nawwaf al-Sabah, and Foreign Minister Sabah al-Khalid al-Sabah to discuss bilateral relations between the two states, as well as the upcoming meeting with Trump.

Trump, an outspoken supporter of Israel, has been ambivalent since the beginning of his presidency regarding his administration’s position vis-a-vis the two-state solution.

While members of the international community have rested the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the discontinuation of illegal Israeli settlements and the establishment of a two-state solution, a growing number of Palestinian activists have criticized the two-state solution as unsustainable and unlikely to bring durable peace given the existing political context, proposing instead a binational state with equal rights for Israelis and Palestinians.
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