Trump, Abbas scheduled to hold 1st formal talk

Cnaan Liphshiz

(JTA) — The White House scheduled a telephone conversation for the first time between President Donald Trump and Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority.

At 12:15 p.m. EST, the White House schedule for Friday has Trump speaking “with President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority by telephone.”

Trump, who during the presidential campaign last year said he would reverse the policy of his predecessor Barack Obama of openly discussing disagreements between Israel and the United States over the Palestinian issue and others, also spoke favorably about moving the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Congress recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in 1995 and mandated the move to Jerusalem, but successive U.S. presidents have exercised a waiver in the law that allows them to delay the move for national security reasons.

Echoing similar warnings by U.S. security officials and diplomats, the Palestinian leadership say that moving the embassy would stir anti-American violence in the Middle East and elsewhere. The Palestinian Authority under Abbas claims Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.

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