U.S. calls talk with Abbas 'productive'

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"We highly appreciate President Trump's efforts to strike a historical peace deal، a statement he repeated more than one time during our meetings in Washington، Riyadh and Bethlehem،" Abbas said at the start of his meeting with Kushner، according to the PA's official Wafa news agency.

Kushner, special representative for worldwide negotiations Jason Greenblatt and deputy national security advisor Dina Powell held talks with the PA president in Ramallah on Thursday after meeting with a number of Middle East leaders in the past several days.

That comment, though, which was attributed to the London-based pan-Arab newspaper Al-Hayat, was reportedly strongly denied by the White House according to an Israeli newspaper.

The US plan would include a set timetable for talks, which would focus on the so-called core issues of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the Palestinian official said.

Both sides agreed to continue with the USA -led conversations as the best way to reach a peace deal, the State Department statement said.

The Palestinian source also said Kushner told Abbas the United States was under the impression the PA president does not trust the White House and stressed that the U.S. is working hard toward creating the conditions for a peace deal. Also, the team will examine economic steps ahead of a potential peace deal.

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Abbas said in a statement Thursday: "We confirm that this delegation is working for peace, and we are working with him to arrive soon at what President Trump called a peace deal". "We know that things are hard and complicated, but there is nothing impossible with good efforts".

"There was a feeling that the Americans were offended", the source said, "and that's why Abbas was quick to explain himself and say that he was willing to reach a peace deal".

"Without a vision it will be negotiations for negotiations sake", Khatib said.

"President Trump is very optimistic and hopes for a better future for the Palestinian people and the Israeli people", Kushner said. "We told them, let's make peace so there won't be any more martyrs or any more prisoners and then we won't need to pay them a salary".

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is also slated to meet Trump on the sidelines of the annual UN General Assembly meet in NY next month.

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