Trump arranges new meeting with Netanyahu and Abbas

The US President will meet the Middle East leaders in New York


US President Donald Trump will meet with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the next fortnight to discuss his much-touted peace initiative.

The meeting – the first since Mr Trump's visit to Israel in May – is expected to take place during the UN General Assembly session in New York and continue on afterwards.

Mr Trump is still said to be committed to achieving an “ultimate deal” between Israel and the Palestinians.

A White House Official told Haaretz that both Mr Netanyahu and Mr Abbas “see this as an opportunity” to further the prospect of a deal.

Firm dates for the meeting have not been confirmed, but it seems likely to happen before the general debate at the UN General Assembly, scheduled for September 17 to 19. Mr Netanyahu is also expected to raise other security and diplomatic issues with the US president including the Iranian nuclear agreement and the situation in Syria.

Last month President Trump is said to have told his son-in-law Jared Kushner and others that an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was one of his top foreign policy priorities. Mr Kushner led a delegation to the Middle East during which he visited Mr Netanyahu in Tel Aviv and Mr Abbas in Ramallah.

Separate reports suggest that the Israeli Prime Minister will not host an event with the Jewish community while he is in New York over fears that it could prompt confrontations regarding the ongoing Western Wall controversy. 

In June Mr Netanyahu “froze” a deal that would have made the Western Wall a place where all Jews can pray as they wish, a move regarded by some as effectively rejecting diaspora Jewry and the non-Orthodox streams of Judaism. A report on the Israeli website Walla said that though Mr Netanyahu is "expected to hold personal meetings with some of the Jewish leaders" when he is in New York, he "prefers to avoid a large meeting with senior members of the community".

This in in contrast to events organised for Mr Netanyahu in Argentina and Mexico, which he will visit prior to his arrival in the US.

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