WASHINGTON (AA) – President Donald Trump has invited his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, to visit Washington very soon, the White House said Friday.
The meeting comes on the heels of the first bilateral conversation between the leaders since Trump assumed office on Jan. 20.
Spokesman Sean Spicer confirmed the meeting to reporters after Palestine’s state news agency said the two would gather in Washington. Additional details on the meeting and the call were not immediately available from the White House.
Trump previously hosted Israeli Premier Benjamin Netanyahu last month, appearing to vacillate on the long-standing U.S. commitment to the two-state solution.
The abrupt policy change could complicate Washington’s efforts in the region, alongside a proposed effort to relocate the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Doing so would signal the U.S.’ acceptance of the contested city as Israel’s capital, rebuffing Palestinian desires to see East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.
Successive U.S. administrations have declined to make the change despite a Congressional mandate to do so, and Israel’s desire to see the change.
The 1995 law has a built in presidential waiver that presidents can use to avoid the action under national security concerns, which Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama have used.
By Michael Hernandez