Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas did not mind holding a tripartite meeting with US President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Washington or elsewhere, Palestinian sources close to the matter said.
The sources stressed that Abbas was ready for any US arrangement in order to hold a meeting that would include the three leaders.
“The president was always ready for such a meeting, but Netanyahu is the one who has run away more than once”, the sources said, adding that an encounter between Trump and Abbas would take place this month on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, but said a tripartite meeting was not yet on the agenda.
According to the same sources, no specific dates have been set so far, but the meeting would be held between September 17 and 20, before the scheduled speech of Abbas before the General Assembly on the 20th.
Trump is expected to meet both Abbas and Netanyahu in an attempt to activate negotiations between the two sides and explore means of establishing peace in the region.
“Abbas will tell Trump that the two-state solution is the only solution, and that any arrangements involving territorial peace, economic peace or patchwork solutions are unacceptable,” the sources said.
According to the Palestinian sources, the US president and his aides insist that a bilateral meeting with Abbas would be possible only after Abbas delivers his speech before the General Assembly.
The reason for this, according to the sources, is that the Americans want to hear what the Palestinian president will say in his speech and to verify that he will not incite against Israel.
Officials in Ramallah talked about coordinated moves between the US and Israel, as a way to pressure the Palestinian president ahead of the General Assembly session.
However, US officials have denied the reports. “The news is unfounded,” a senior White House official said.
“We are having fruitful discussions with the Palestinians, but we have not talked to them about the content of Abbas’ speech at the UN, and we are not putting pressure on them in this regard,” he added.