US President Donald Trump arrived for talks with Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank today as they seek ways to renew Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. Trump arrived at the presidential palace in the West Bank city, located only about a 20-minute drive from Jerusalem but across Israel’s controversial separation wall. On Monday, Trump held talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. The Palestinian president greeted Abbas outside the presidential palace and the two men walked along a red carpet onto its grounds.
Trump’s visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories is part of his first trip abroad as president, and follows an initial leg in Saudi Arabia, where he urged Islamic leaders to confront extremism. He has spoken of reviving long-stalled peace efforts between the Israelis and Palestinians, but few specifics have emerged of how he intends to do so.
“I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope,” Trump said on Monday night. Later Tuesday, Trump will return to Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and give a speech at the Israel Museum before wrapping up his two-day stop and flying on to Europe.