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Trump Travels To Bethlehem For Meeting With Abbas


U.S. President Donald Trump (left) and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to travel Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmud Abbas on the second day of his visit to Israel and the West Bank.

The May 23 talks in the West Bank city with Abbas follow meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and a visit to the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the first sitting U.S. president to visit what is considered one of Judaism's holiest sites.

After his meeting with Abbas, Trump will return to Jerusalem to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial and give a speech at the Israel Museum, bringing an end to his two-day stay in the country.

Trump, on his first trip abroad since taking office in January, is seeking progress toward what he has called the "ultimate deal" -- a peace pact between Israelis and Palestinians.

Upon his arrival on May 22, Trump said there is a "rare opportunity" to bring peace to the Middle East.

“We have before us a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace to this region and to its people," he said standing alongside Israeli leaders during a welcoming ceremony. "But we can only get there working together. There is no other way."

Officials said security will be tight for Trump's 20-minute drive from Jerusalem to Bethlehem.

He will need to cross Israel's West Bank separation wall, which will eventually extend some 700 kilometers to separate Israel and Palestinian territories.

Hossam Zomlot, an aide to Abbas, told AFP news agency that "if President Trump wants to mediate and leads us to a historic agreement, a major agreement, we are ready to be his partners."

With reporting by AFP and the BBC
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