24 Oct, 2020

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas said on Sunday that US President Donald Trump’s “entire administration is in chaos” and that despite meeting with the president’s diplomatic envoys upwards of 20 times, Abbas still had no clear idea of Trump’s vision for peace.

Speaking in Ramallah to a visiting delegation of left-wing Israeli politicians from the Meretz party, Abbas said of the president, “I don’t even know how they are dealing with us, because his entire administration is in chaos.”

Abbas was not referring to recent staffing shake-ups in the White House, however, but to the Trump’s vows to make “the ultimate deal” in the Middle East.

Though the administration has a clear interest in forming a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, as evidenced by the fact that Abbas has met with Trump envoys “about 20 times since the beginning of his term”, the Palestinian leader said that Trump’s people constantly made promises they didn’t keep.

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“Every time they repeatedly stressed to me how much they believe and are committed to a two-state solution and a halt to construction in the settlements. I have pleaded with them to say the same thing to [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, but they refrained. They said they would consider it but then they didn’t get back to me,” Haaretz quoted Abbas as saying.

According to Hebrew media, Abbas said it was “impossible” to know what Trump was planning.

Abbas’s remarks come as Trump’s Middle East team once again heads to the region in an effort to restart talks. Jared Kushner, a senior advisor and Trump’s son-in-law, who has been tasked with making peace, will join Special Envoy for International Negotiations Jason Greenblatt and Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell on the trip.

In addition to meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the team will hold discussions with officials in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Jordan, and Egypt.